Skip to main content

LCrR 5.1. Commencement of Actions; Case Assignment Area

Local Criminal Rule

(d) Location for Court Proceedings for Criminal Cases Filed in King County; Filing of Documents and Pleadings and Designation of Case Assignment Area.
(1) Designation of Case Assignment Area. Each criminal case filed in the Superior Court shall be accompanied by a designation of the Case Assignment Area.
(2) Boundaries of Case Assignment Areas. For purposes of this rule King County shall be divided into case assignment areas as follows:
(A) Seattle Case Assignment Area. All of King County north of Interstate 90 and including all of the Interstate 90 right-of-way; all of the cities of Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Issaquah and North Bend; the unincorporated areas of King County Sheriff’s Precinct 4; and including all of Vashon and Maury Islands.
(B) Kent Case Assignment Area. All of King County south of Interstate 90 except those areas included in the Seattle Case Assignment Area.
(C) Change of Area Boundaries. The Presiding Judge may adjust the boundaries between areas when required for the efficient and fair administration of justice in King County.
(3) Standards for Case Assignment Area Designation, and Revisions Thereof.
(A) Case Assignment Area Designated by Prosecuting Attorney. The indictment or information filed with the Clerk shall contain the Case Assignment Area designation of the case.
(B) Standard for Designation. Except as provided in Section (C) below, the Prosecuting Attorney shall assign the case to the Case Assignment Area where the offense is alleged to have been committed.
(C) Exceptions to Standard Designation.
(i) The Prosecuting Attorney may designate a case assignment area different than provided in (B) above:
a) Where the location of the offense within the county cannot be easily ascertained or the offense was committed in more than one area of the county;
b) Where multiple offenses charged were committed in more than one area of the county;
(ii) The following case categories shall be designated to the Seattle Case Assignment Area:
a) Fugitives from justice.
b) Juveniles charged as adults.
c) Co-defendants of juveniles charged as adults.
(iii) When a defendant has an action pending, any new action filed against that defendant shall be assigned to the same case assignment area as the pending case.
(D) Improper Designation/Lack of Designation. The designation of the improper case assignment area shall not be a basis for dismissal of any action.
(E) Assignment or Transfer on Court's Motion. The Court on its own motion or on the motion of a party may assign or transfer cases to another case assignment area in the county whenever required for the just and efficient administration of justice in King County.
(F) Motions by Party to Transfer. Motions to transfer court proceedings from one case assignment area to another shall be made in writing, with proper notice to all parties. Motions to transfer shall generally be heard prior to trial setting only. All cases shall proceed in the original case assignment area until an order of transfer is entered.
(G) Venue Not Affected. This rule shall not affect whether venue is proper in any Superior Court facility in King County.
(H) Pre-Filing Requests for Exceptions. The Prosecutor in advance of filing a particular case, for good cause shown, may apply ex parte to the Chief Criminal Judge for an exception to the normal case assignment area.
(4) Where Pleadings and Documents Filed. Pursuant to LGR 30, all pleadings and documents for any criminal action in King County must be electronically filed with the Clerk using the Clerk’s e-filing system. Documents identified as exceptions to mandatory e-filing must be filed in paper form with the Clerk of the Superior Court at the court facility in the case assignment area of the case. Service of documents on the Prosecuting Attorney and the defendant’s attorney shall be made at the office of the Prosecutor and defense attorney located in the case assignment area of the case at the time of service.
(5) Inclusion of Case Assignment Area Code. All pleadings and documents shall contain after the cause number the case assignment area code. The Clerk may reject pleadings or documents that do not contain this case assignment area code.
(6) Jury Assignment Area. See LGR 18. The rule provides for Seattle and Kent jury assignment areas, consisting of registered voters and licensed drivers and identicard holders residing in each jury assignment area.

[Adopted effective June 1, 1996; amended effective September 1, 2001; December 1, 2001; September 1, 2004; September 1, 2007; June 1, 2009; September 8, 2009; December 14, 2017; February 28, 2018; May 29, 2018, August 29, 2018; September 1, 2018.]