Seattle Municipal Court FAQ on court business during COVID-19

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Safety at Seattle Municipal Court

Your safety is our priority. Face coverings are required for all court visitors and staff. Our team of Seattle Municipal Court Marshals ensure that all visitors pass through security and weapons screening and are taking extra steps to keep all court visitors safe.

Disputing a ticket

To request a hearing to contest or mitigate your ticket, follow the instructions on the back of your ticket and submit it by mail, or call (206) 684-5600 Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

A hearing notice will be mailed to you and will include instructions for how to either submit your written statement or participate in a hearing.

Attending your ticket mitigation hearing

If you agree that you committed a violation but want to ask for your ticket’s fine to be reduced, you can request a mitigation hearing. Mitigation hearings are held by written statement or by telephone. We are not holding in-person mitigation hearings. To have your mitigation hearing by written statement, please submit your statement three days before your scheduled hearing. You can submit your statement online, by mail, or by fax.

To have your mitigation hearing by phone, call (206) 684-5607 at your scheduled hearing time to speak to a clerk. After you have checked in with the clerk, you will be told to hang up and wait for a return call from a Magistrate Judge. A Magistrate Judge will call you back within an hour. Please plan to be available for one hour at your scheduled hearing time.

Attending your contested ticket hearing

If you disagree that you committed a violation, then you can request a contested hearing. If you request a contested hearing, the court will schedule you for a pre-hearing settlement conference, which is an opportunity to resolve the case without the formality of a hearing. You can participate in a settlement conference by written statement or by telephone. To have your pre-hearing settlement conference by phone, call (206) 684-5607 at your scheduled hearing time to speak to a clerk. After you have checked in with the clerk, you will be told to hang up and wait for a return call from a Magistrate Judge. A Magistrate Judge will call you back within an hour. Please plan to be available for one hour at your scheduled hearing time.

You may skip the settlement conference and proceed directly to the contested hearing (trial) by completing the waiver form sent to you with your pre-hearing conference notice. Contested hearings in Courtroom 301 are held virtually using WebEx video/telephone conferencing.

By request, you can attend your contested hearing in-person. If you want to attend your contested hearing in-person, email courtcalendar.SMC@Seattle.gov with your case number to request an in-person hearing.

Criminal cases

You have the option to attend your hearing in-person or attend virtually using WebEx video/telephone conferencing, unless you are specifically ordered to appear in-person by a judge. For more information, visit our Virtual Hearings page.

You will receive a notice in the mail informing you of your next court date. If your mailing address has changed, please notify the court of your changed address by calling (206) 684-5600 Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

You can check court dates online here. Search for your name in the Defendant Search, click on your court case, then click the Hearings tab.

If you have questions about your criminal case, contact your attorney. If you don’t have your public defender’s contact information, contact the Department of Public Defense.

Attorneys: Please check the Case Information Portal for information on your client’s case.

Paying tickets or fines

You can pay tickets online, by phone at (206) 233-7000, or by mail. The transaction fee for online and phone payments is being waived at this time.

If you cannot pay a ticket or fine, call (206) 684-5600 to learn about your options. You may apply for a payment plan online.

Call (206) 684-5600 Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. if you have questions or need assistance.

Public defense screening

To find out if you qualify for a public defender, call 206-386-1543, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Pre-trial services and probation

Probation clients do not need to report in-person to the courthouse at this time, unless you are individually contacted and asked to report. Call (206) 684-7840 or visit our website if you do not have your counselor’s contact information.

Impound hearings

You may attend your impound hearing in-person or virtually using WebEx video/telephone conferencing. Please call (206) 684-5600 for information.

Community Resource Center

The Community Resource Center is open three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Information on services at seattle.gov/courts/crc.

Marriage ceremonies

Judges are available after 4:30 p.m. every weekday and at flexible times on weekends to perform limited marriage ceremonies. More information.

Jury service

Jurors report in-person to the courthouse for service. More information is available on our website.

Court records

Many case records are available on the online portal. Visit our website for more information on requesting court records or contact the Clerk’s Office at 206-684-5636.

Other questions?

Call (206) 684-5600 Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.