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About the Hearing Examiner

The King County Hearing Examiner is appointed by the Metropolitan King County Council. We provide a fair, efficient, and accessible public hearing process. We are committed to courtesy, promptness and helpfulness in assisting the public to make full and effective use of our services.

We hear applications and appeals involving many county administrative determinations. After a hearing we strive to write accurate, clearly-reasoned and understandable decisions and recommendations.

What the Hearing Examiner does

We provide public appeals services. We handle county administrative matters like permits and violation notices. Many of our cases involve land use, animal control, and other issues. We don't work on criminal cases or private disputes.

The Hearing Examiner holds hearings similar to trials but without a jury. Our reviews are more informal and inclusive than a court. We take testimony under oath, review documents, apply the law, and make decisions.

We're dedicated to providing a hearing process that’s fair, efficient, and accessible to everyone.

The King County Council appoints the Examiner. We’re neutral and independent from the departments we review.

Need more information on filing appeals and how the hearing process works? View and download our hearing guides.

You can also email or call us with your questions.

Types of hearings


We hold hearings for subdivisions or open space property tax reductions even if no one files an objection. The public can attend and offer testimony at such hearings.


We hold hearings for appeals of a department decision, such as those from animal services, code enforcement, land use permits, and licensing. 

Two short videos provide an overview of our process

Public records requests

If you want a broad array of examiner documents, or if you want documents Council members and staff may have, you must file a Public Records Act (PRA) request with the Council’s PRA officer and pay any applicable PRA fees; visit the Council's PRA page for more information;

However, if your need is more limited, like “the filings in the examiner’s Laszlo case,” or “a recording of the examiner’s Ugarte hearing,” or “the preliminary plat map from Lund Ridge,” you do not need to make a PRA request; we can typically make these available quickly, and at no charge.

Feel free to call us at 206-477-0860 or email to discuss your options.