Screening Guidelines

About the Screening Lines

Pierce County courthouses are intended to be safe places where citizens access the courts, obtain justice system services and resolve disputes peacefully. In order to help provide safe and secure court facilities a number of security systems and processes are in place; some of which you will encounter when you visit a courthouse. The predominant security feature involves screening visitors for weapons and prohibited items.

When visitors enter a Pierce County courthouse they will pass through a security screening process similar to what one might experience in an airport. As visitors enter the courthouse, they will be required to pass through a magnetometer (commonly called a metal detector) and belongings may be inspected with x-ray screening equipment. In order for this process to be as efficient as possible, and to reduce delays, these guidelines should be followed.

There are three security screening lines at the County-City Building:
  • General Screening Line - The general screening line procedure includes X-ray of all hand carried items, such as purses, briefcases and backpacks.
  • Express Line - The express line does not allow hand carried items such as purses and laptops.
  • ADA Line - The ADA line accommodates those needing mobility assistance, such as wheelchairs, crutches and scooters.
Note: Law enforcement officers carrying weapons, please note our Procedures for Law Enforcement Officers.

The Screening Process: What to Expect

  • Be prepared to empty pockets and place the contents in a container provided for you at a screening checkpoint. Mobile phones, music players such as iPods, personal data assistants (PDAs) and other hand held electronic devices must be placed in a container for screening also.
  • Please remove large pieces of jewelry, watches and belts and place them in containers provided at the screening points before entering the magnetometer. Doing so will save time and prevent having to go through additional screening.
  • Be prepared to provide purses, briefcases, laptops and laptop cases, backpacks, coats and other hand carried items to court security staff for x-ray screening and additional screening as requested by security staff and law enforcement officers.
  • Please note, you may be required to undergo additional screening procedures to enter the facility if the magnetometer sounds an alarm. Please follow the directions of security personnel who will assist you through the rest of the screening process should this occur.
  • Before leaving the security area, please remember to retrieve all personal possessions. Security personnel are not responsible for items left in security screening areas.

Help keep your experience simple by arriving a few minutes early, prepared for the screening process, and by cooperating with security staff and law enforcement officer's requests and directions.