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Seattle Municipal Court Presiding Judge Issues Order Establishing En Banc Panel Related to Expired Blood Vials

On May 20, 2024, Seattle Municipal Court (SMC) Presiding Judge Faye R. Chess issued an order on criminal motion regarding expired blood vials, having determined this issue to be of citywide significance per Seattle Municipal Court Local Rule, SMCLR 8.2.4.

Per the order, an en banc panel of SMC Judges Catherine McDowall, Damon Shadid, and Willie Gregory will determine whether blood test results obtained from vials that had expired before the testing of the blood occurred should be suppressed, or if some other remedy should be imposed. The panel will also consider as a related issue the significance of the delay in testing by the Washington State Toxicology Lab or the Seattle City Attorney’s delays in filing as it relates to the expired vials issue.

Court staff will assign a case number and develop procedures for tracking cases that wish to join the en banc motion. A scheduling/status meeting will be arranged by court staff to discuss briefing schedule and hearing dates.

For more information or to track this issue, please visit