Information about King County District Court
The King County District Court is the largest court of limited jurisdiction in the state of Washington and is currently responsible for processing approximately a quarter of a million matters per year. The King County District Court is a leader in many areas involving public safety and access to justice:
1. The court has the greatest number of problem solving courts within a court of limited jurisdiction in the state of Washington.
2. The court has established judge-supervised probation for the purposes of public safety and reduced recidivism.
3. The court has access to and uses a variety of highly successful jail alternative programs.
4. The court has improved access to justice by having its multiple facilities linked together as one court through governance and technology. A court user can pay a ticket, clear a warrant, access court files, find out about their case, file legal papers, or research a case at any location.
The District Court of King County is part of the judicial branch of King County government and is funded primarily through the King County current expense (CX) fund. The District Court generates revenues from filing fees, probation fees, passport fees, imposition of fines and costs, and city contracts for court services.
Nearly a quarter of a million cases were filed in 2017, about 40% of the filings were the result of service contracts with cities. The remaining 60% of the filings were King County’s exclusive responsibility. The cities that contract for District Court services in 2017 are: Auburn, Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Burien, Carnation, Covington, Duvall, Kenmore, Redmond, Sammamish, Shoreline and Skykomish. Discussions continue with other municipalities for limited court services.
As a court of limited jurisdiction, the District Court is responsible for the following types of matters:
- Civil litigation matters up to $100,000 per claimant
Small claims matters up to $5,000
- Nuisance violations
- False alarm hearings
- Vehicle tow and impound hearings
- Anti-harassment orders
- Domestic violence protection orders
- Name changes
- Infractions (traffic, non-traffic and parking)
- Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases
- Felony expedited cases
- Felony preliminary hearings
- Search warrants
- Garnishments and other supplemental proceedings
- Lien foreclosure and forfeiture hearings
The District Court currently holds court and provides public access at 10 facilities located throughout King County: Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, King County Courthouse (Seattle), King County Jail (Seattle-jail calendars only), Redmond, Maleng Regional Justice Center (Kent), Shoreline and Vashon Island (one day per month).