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Posted on: November 23, 2020

Pierce County District Court responds to COVID-19; Criminal and civil jury trials to be suspended

The Pierce County District Court is taking important steps to protect public health while ensuring continued access to justice and essential court services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Court facilities at the County-City Building will remain open but there are modifications to operations which should increase the safety of court participants and staff.   

The Court will implement the following measures to minimize the number of people who need to come to the County-City Building.  

Beginning Nov. 30, 2020 and until at least Jan.11, 2021,

  • All criminal and civil jury trials will be suspended. 
  • All traffic and other civil infractions will continue to be scheduled for virtual hearings. The Court will continue to accept Hearings by Mail. 
  • Hearings for permanent anti-harassment orders will continue to be heard virtually. 
  • The manner in which a hearing will be held (in person, telephonically, video/virtual, etc.) will be determined by the Court will full consideration of all recommended public health guidelines.
  • All court customer service counters will be closed for walk-up transactions, except by appointment only.
  • District Court Probation services are modified such that all in-person probation appointments will be conducted telephonically and/or through an audio/video platform.
  • The Court Resource Center (CRC) will be closed for walk-ins. Any of the CRC partners that continue to provide services at the CRC will be by appointment only.
  • It is anticipated that staff in the Clerk’s Office will be available by telephone, mail will be received, and live chat will remain available. 

Litigants and attorneys who feel sick or who have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should not enter Pierce County District Court. Anyone deemed by the court or by court staff to exhibit illness symptoms may be ordered to leave.

The public is encouraged to communicate with Pierce County District Court as follows:

Any changes to court hours or proceedings will be provided in future press releases. For the latest information on court operations visit:  https://www.piercecountywa.org/101/District-Court

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:  

  • 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  

Pierce County District Court is the second largest District Court in the State of Washington and is proud to serve the citizens and visitors of Pierce County. The Court is staffed with 8 judges and 103 court and probation employees. There are two sites where court activities are held; the County-City Building at 930 Tacoma Ave S., Tacoma, and the District Court Resource Center, 925 Tacoma Ave S., Tacoma.  For more information, please visit our website at https://www.piercecountywa.gov/101/District-Court

 Media Contact: 
Misty Butler Robison, District Court Administrator
[email protected]
(253)798-7753 

 

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