Changes in Juvenile Court Offender Operations in Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health mandates to reduce in-person gatherings, in mid-March 2020, the Clark Children & Family Justice Center (the Courthouse) limited offender operations to “essential matters” only, which were conducted in one courtroom for approximately 45 days. In May 2020, as the situation improved, and consistent with public health guidelines, the Courthouse gradually increased the number and type of hearings it conducted.
As of July 13, 2020, the following procedures will operate at the Courthouse until further notice:
Health and Safety Measures in all CFJC Courtrooms
- The Court actively encourages participation by telephone or video, as permitted by law. Please contact your attorney or the appropriate Court at the number below.
- All participants and members of the public are required to wear masks or facial coverings unless:
- You are prevented for doing so for medical or ADA reasons;
- You are a child under age 5; or
- A Judge permits you to temporarily remove the mask to facilitate clear articulation and recording of the proceedings.
The Court will have masks available for use free of charge.
- Social distancing is required as follows:
- For those that appear in person, members of the public may congregate and sit only in designated spaces.
- In-court seating priority will be given to family members of the parties involved in the proceeding.
- If courtroom seating is insufficient to accommodate all who wish to attend, arrangements can be made to live-stream proceedings to another location at the CFJC or to participate by video or audio. To the extent possible, alternative accommodations must be made in advance of the proceeding.
- Members of the media are encouraged to contact the assigned judge’s bailiff to arrange for media participation in advance of any hearing they would like to attend.
- Other measures:
- Courthouse personnel are sanitizing surface space regularly.
- The Court will have hand sanitizer and disinfecting cleaning supplies in all public areas, including courtrooms for the public’s use.
- At this time, the Juvenile Offender calendar is fully operational, running two courtrooms each morning (3C/3D) and afternoon (1A/1B), except for Monday morning when the courtrooms are closed.
- Juvenile Offender calendars are assigned on a geographic basis, as was standard before the pandemic, as follows:
- Courtroom 3D (mornings) and 1A (afternoons): generally cover the north end of the County; and
- Courtroom 3C (mornings) and 1B (afternoons): generally cover the south end of the County.
- Please note that courtroom locations may change for various reasons. Please contact the assigned judge’s bailiff to determine the exact location of each calendar on a given day.
- A third courtroom (3A) is also operating on an as-needed basis to:
- address the existing back-log of cases ready to proceed to trial,
- the Seattle-based ARY-CHINS and Juvenile Drug Court calendars each Monday afternoon, and
- the Truancy Calendar every first Tuesday morning of the month.
- Again, the Court encourages all possible hearings to be conducted remotely.
- Community supervision of youth will continue, primarily through telephone and electronic modalities. Person-to-person supervision will increase over time with public health measures being observed.
- Truancy hearings continue to be suspended, subject to school closures.
Contact Information for Further Information
- When Resource Center staff and community partners are not physically present at the CFJC, they are available by telephone (206-263-8634) and email (SCResourceCenter@kingcounty.gov).
- To schedule or attend a hearing being held remotely, or if you have questions about scheduling or attending an in-person hearing, contact the bailiff for the judge to whom the case is assigned.
- For Seattle-based ARY-CHINS, Juvenile Drug Court, Truancy matters, and juvenile offender cases in North Seattle: Chief Judge J. Michael Diaz, call 206-477-1555; email email@example.com or Court3A@kingcounty.gov.
King County Juvenile Court handles cases when youth younger than 18 are accused of committing an “offense,” which is how Juvenile Court describes when a youth breaks a law. Youth are different than adults, which is why there is a separate court for hearing their cases. Juvenile Court Judges use a range of legal options to meet both the safety needs of the community and the service needs of the youth and their families. The primary goals of Juvenile Court are to promote public safety, help youth build skills, address treatment needs, support families, and successfully restore youth to the community.
ABOUT JUDGE PATRICIA H. CLARK:
The late Honorable Patricia H. Clark was a judge widely recognized for her outstanding abilities as an oral advocate who received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington in 1987. She worked in the King County Prosecutor’s Office Criminal Division and taught at the Seattle University Law Clinic. She then joined the Superior Court bench in 1998. Judge Clark made a significant impact as Chief Judge and Chief Advocate on the Juvenile Court bench, working tirelessly to build bridges with the community, always striving for fairness. She told anyone who would listen that we had to do better by our children. She was a strong advocate for the new Children and Family Justice Center.
- Hearings occur at the Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center (CCFJC) in Seattle. Information about visiting the court is HERE.
- Juvenile Detention, which is administered by the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD), is also located at the Children and Family Justice Center. Information about Juvenile Detention, including the reasons a youth can be held in detention and visiting detained youth, is HERE.
- The CCFJC has an onsite Resource Center where community providers support youth and families with access to services. Read more about the Resource Center HERE.
- For a list of contacts by Juvenile Court Department programs, visit the "Contact the Superior Court" link and click on Juvenile Court Services HERE.
- Juvenile Court Services also operates several community-based offices where youth receive services. Contact information for these units, including location and driving directions, can be found under “Community Supervision Probation Counselors” HERE.
- An overview of Juvenile Justice in King County, including our partnerships with community programs and our work to reduce the juvenile detention population, can be found HERE.
- The different types of Juvenile Court hearings are described HERE.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - ENGLISH
PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES – SPANISH
SU’AALAHA INTA BADAN LA IS WEYDIIYO - SOMALI
JUVENILE LEGAL SYSTEM FAMILY HANDBOOK – Understanding and Navigating the King County Juvenile Legal System.
The King County Department of Public Defense provides legal services to youth who are facing criminal charges in Juvenile Court or who are facing At-Risk Youth (ARY), Child in Need of Services (CHINS), or truancy petitions. Call (206) 477-9727 to see if you qualify for a public defender or visit HERE.
Links to other resources for legal assistance are also found HERE.
Below you will find sets of commonly used juvenile offender forms. If you have questions about any of these forms, please contact the Juvenile Court. You also may wish to review the most recent edition of the Juvenile Disposition Manual compiled and published by the Washington State Caseload Forecast Council.
ONE WORD OF CAUTION: If you choose to use any of the forms provided here in MS Word format, please be advised that the appearance, page breaks, margins, fonts, and other aspects of the document that you prepare may be affected by the version of Word you are using. Please be sure that the completed document conforms to all rules governing acceptable document format, particularly those stated in General Rule 14. This includes but is not limited to the requirement that writing/printing shall appear on one side of the page only.