Revised and Extended Order Regarding Court Operations – latest release as of 4/13/20

COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES CREATED BY COVID-19 AND RELATED CORONAVIRUS

The court incorporates here its prior findings regarding COVID-19 and the state of emergency guidelines as set forth in the prior General Orders. The court finds that the current guidance of local and national health officials requires the Courthouse to remain closed. As of the issuance of this order, the State of Washington remains under a Stay at Home order until May 4, 2020.

  • General Order 07-20 has been posted to the Western District of Washington’s public website and is effective 4/13/2020.
  • General Order 07-20 continues previously established protocols for court operations consistent to the manner that will protect the safety and health of all those involved in the proceedings, while preserving the legal rights of the accused and permitting public access.

For further information on COVID-19 and Bankruptcy Court operations in the Western District of Washington, please visit this page.

William M. McCool
District Court Executive/Clerk of Court

 

. . . . 

Click here to read full order: Revised and Extended Order Regarding Court Operations

Civil Legal Aid is a Lifeline in the COVID-19 Crisis

The pandemic has created many new civil legal needs in Washington. Legal aid programs are ready to help low-income people and displaced workers affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Find free resources to address your legal issue:

For general information and assistance:

  • Go to Northwest Justice Project’s Know Your Rights Guide to COVID-19
    Find current information on how the pandemic is impacting the court system, housing payments, public benefits, employment, insurance, debt, student loans, consumer protection, and more. The page is on WashingtonLawHelp.org, which provides legal information and resources on many types of civil legal problems, forms and instructions for self-representation, and referral information on free legal aid services across Washington.
  • Call the CLEAR statewide hotline
    Depending on eligibility and type of problem, you can speak directly to a Northwest Justice Project (NJP) advocate to receive telephonic advice and assistance, limited services (i.e. negotiation or document preparation), and/or referral to an NJP regional office or other legal aid attorney.

    • Outside of King County, call (888) 201-1014 toll-free (weekdays between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.)
    • In King County, call 2-1-1 to be referred to the appropriate legal aid provider
    • Seniors (age 60 and over) statewide can also call (888) 387-7111

For help with unemployment benefits or paid family and medical leave:

For local aid with housing, domestic violence, debt, veterans and elder care, and more:

  • Connect with TACOMAPROBONO’s COVID-19 Clinic! Use the online form at www.tacomaprobono.org to sent your issue to our local panel of TPCBA volunteers waiting to provide advice on COVID-19 related issues on an expedited timeline. Generally, see the Washington State Pro Bono Council roster for service areas and contact information, or call CLEAR.

Pierce County Superior Court SC Guidance – 3/20/19

Members:

Thank you for reaching out to us during these challenging times.  The Washington State Supreme Court has issued Amended Order No. 25700-B-607 clarifying the types of proceedings that are still allowed to occur under modified conditions.  Pursuant to the Amended Order, we believe that the Pierce County Superior Court Emergency Orders are acceptable and within the intent of the Supreme Court’s Amended Order so long as the proceedings, including non-jury trials, are conducted without personal appearances through April 24, 2020.  This date may be extended by further Order of this Court or the Washington State Supreme Court.  Please contact your assigned judicial department for specific details.  Modified judges’ motion dockets and commissioners’ dockets continue to be available, as set forth in Emergency Order #4.

Pierce County Superior Court is continuing to operate under its Emergency Orders as posted on the Pierce County Superior Court website, at https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/122/Superior-Court.

All future communication concerning court operations or responses to the Covid-19 crisis will be posted on the Pierce County Superior Court website and the TPCBA website at https://www.tpcba.com.

For case specific inquires please email the assigned judicial department directly.

 Thank you,
Pierce County Superior Court Executive Committee

COURT CLOSURES AND EMERGENCY MODIFICATIONS TO OPERATIONS

For latest updates click on links below:

Pierce County Superior Court website

King County Superior Court website

Washington Supreme Court Events & News website

Washington Courts website

Civil Legal Aid is a Lifeline in the COVID-19 Crisis

Pierce County Superior Court SC Guidance – 3/20/19

Members:

Thank you for reaching out to us during these challenging times.  The Washington State Supreme Court has issued Amended Order No. 25700-B-607 clarifying the types of proceedings that are still allowed to occur under modified conditions.  Pursuant to the Amended Order, we believe that the Pierce County Superior Court Emergency Orders are acceptable and within the intent of the Supreme Court’s Amended Order so long as the proceedings, including non-jury trials, are conducted without personal appearances through April 24, 2020.  This date may be extended by further Order of this Court or the Washington State Supreme Court.  Please contact your assigned judicial department for specific details.  Modified judges’ motion dockets and commissioners’ dockets continue to be available, as set forth in Emergency Order #4.

Pierce County Superior Court is continuing to operate under its Emergency Orders as posted on the Pierce County Superior Court website, at https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/122/Superior-Court.

All future communication concerning court operations or responses to the Covid-19 crisis will be posted on the Pierce County Superior Court website and the TPCBA website at https://www.tpcba.com.

For case specific inquires please email the assigned judicial department directly.

Thank you,
Pierce County Superior Court Executive Committee

 

Pierce County Superior Court Press Release: COVID-19 Pandemic Response – March 13, 2020

PIERCE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT PRESS RELEASE

MARCH 13, 2020

COVID-19 Response

The Superior Court bench met on Friday, March 13, 2020 to discuss the court’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The court facilities at the County-City Building, Remann Hall (Juvenile Court) and Western State Hospital will remain open but there are modifications to operations which should increase the safety of court participants and staff.

Beginning March 16, 2020, the following will occur:

· All jury trials will be suspended through April 24th, except those already in progress.

· Civil jury trials, except those already in progress, will either be continued or heard as a bench trial by agreement of the parties.

· All criminal jury trials, except those already in progress, will either be continued or heard as a bench trial by waiver of a jury trial. If you are scheduled to appear for a criminal proceeding between March 16 and April 24, you must show up to court. The court’s Emergency Order does not relieve you of your responsibility to appear before the Criminal Division Presiding Judge. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. When you show up to court you will receive your new trial date.

· Jurors summoned during those dates are excused from service.

· Bench trials will remain an option.

· The court is encouraging telephonic appearance.

· Non-jury trials are not affected. They will proceed as scheduled.

If you are scheduled for a court proceeding and you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and feel you cannot make it at your scheduled court time, you must call the contact who subpoenaed you, or the court, using the contact information listed below:

· If you are currently in trial or scheduled for a hearing in front of a judge, contact the judicial assistant for that department.

· If you have a hearing set before the Commissioners, please contact the Commissioner Services Department at (253)798-6697.

· For all other criminal matters, contact Criminal Administration at (253)798-2988.

· For all matters at Remann Hall (Juvenile Court), please contact Juvenile Court Administration at (253)798-7900.

· For all matters at Western State Hospital, please contact the County Clerk’s Office at

(253)756-2951.

· Jurors assigned to a department should call the number provided by the judicial assistant.

Any changes to court hours or proceedings will be provided in future press releases. For the latest information on court operations visit: www.piercecountywa.gov/courts.

We continue to follow guidance from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) to help protect the public’s health. Employees and court participants should follow these recommendations while at the County-City Building, Remann Hall and Western State Hospital:

· Increase handwashing and use of alcohol-based sanitizer

· Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette – cover a cough or a sneeze

· Keep distance from others (more than six feet, if possible)

· Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces

· Remain home during a respiratory illness

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department COVID-19

Pierce County Superior Court is the second largest Superior Court in the State of Washington and is proud to serve the citizens and visitors of Pierce County. The Court is staffed with 22 Judges and 9 Commissioners. There are three sites where court is held; the County-City Building at 930 Tacoma Ave S., Tacoma, Remann Hall Juvenile Court at 5501 6th Ave., Tacoma, and Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood. For more information, please visit our website at http://co.pierce.wa.us/superiorcourt.

Media Contacts:
Chris Gaddis, Superior Court Administrator chris.gaddis@piercecountywa.gov
(253)798-3963