The Spokane Municipal Court is operating under emergency procedures.
Please see our COVID-19 Emergency page for details.

In response to the federal, state, and local declarations resulting from the rapidly progressing COVID-19 situation, the Spokane Municipal Court has issued the following Emergency Orders:

  1. Scheduling in and out of custody negotiated pleas:
    1. Send an email to MC Admin (External users: eramcadmin@spokanecity.org), Jeanine Sword (jsword@spokanecity.org), Terri Jones (tjones@spokanecity.org), and opposing party.
    2. Jeanine will coordinate with the Judicial Officer to choose an appropriate time, based on availability.  Our capacity for pleas is limited to two defendants per hour.
    3. Jeanine will confirm with all parties time and date scheduled.
    4. Negotiated pleas will only occur in the morning time slots of 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.  This will ensure that all individuals involved will be able to maintain social distancing.  If you have a preference of date and time, please present your preference in the email but understand that we might not be able to accommodate your request.  If your date/time cannot be accommodated, Jeanine will offer you an alternative.
  2. Synopsis of procedural changes for criminal cases under Emergency Order 2020-09
    1. In Person Appearances
      1. Defendants represented by attorneys will not be required to personally appear in court, with the exception of:
        1. DV and firearm hearings;
        2. DUI arraignments;
        3. Arraignments not waived by counsel;
        4. Readiness;
        5. Trial;
        6. Sentencing; and
        7. Show cause hearings.
    2. Bench Warrants
      1. Bench warrants will continue to issue for violations of pretrial release conditions or to reduce the risk to public safety.
    3. Appointment of Counsel at Public Expense
      1. All individuals charged with gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor offenses will be provisionally appointed an attorney at no expense under the provisions of RCW 10.101.020(4), because of the suspension of indigency screenings by the Court.
        The Court will mail a letter to each defendant who is provisionally appointed counsel explaining this process and how to contact assigned counsel.
        This appointment will continue as long as the Court’s current Emergency Order remains in effect.Prior to the expiration of the order, defendants will receive another letter from the Court advising them of the expiration of the provisional appointment of counsel and the steps they will need to take if they wish to continue to be represented by the Spokane City Public Defenders’ Office.
        1. Public Defender Contact Information:
          1. Website Link: https://my.spokanecity.org/courts/public-defender/
          2. Telephone No: 509.835.5955
      2. Want to use your own lawyer?
        1. Defendants are entirely free to retain private legal counsel and are encouraged to do so.  Once a private attorney formally appears on any case, the provisional appointment will automatically terminate and the private attorney will immediately become the defendant’s attorney of record.
    4. Criminal Hearings Currently Set – Administratively Continued
      1. With the exception of the hearing types identified below, all in person case hearings currently set shall be administratively continued until after May 25, 2020.
        1. Jail Appearance/Arraignment;
        2. DUI arraignments;
        3. Domestic violence arraignments; and
        4. In custody pleas.
      2. The Court will mail notice to the defendant and any private counsel of record reflecting the new date.
    5. Scheduling of Future Hearings
      1. Arraignments:
        1. With the exception of DUI and Domestic Violence arraignments, defense counsel is encouraged to file a Notice of Appearance, waiving arraignment, and entering a plea.
        2. The Court will issue a case scheduling order at arraignment.  Once opposing counsels have conferred, the Court will entertain and approve reasonable Amended Scheduling Orders
      2. Pretrial Conferences:
        1. The need for counsels of record to physically appear at pretrial conferences can be avoided by the filing of a Certification of Case Status prior to the date the hearing is set.
      3. Motions:
        1. Motions to Recall/Modify No Contact Orders and to Recall/Quash Warrants and responses thereto may be filed as normal.
          1. All hearings on such motions will be considered in chambers, without oral argument.
        2. Suppression motions may be filed and hearings thereon may be set and heard at the discretion of, and in the manner determined by, the judge to whom the matter is before.
        3. All other motions will be set out beyond May 25, 2020 and be heard as normal.
      4. Trials:
        1. No trials will be set before the week of July 1, 2020.
        2. All trials presently scheduled before July 6, 2020, will be rescheduled until an administratively practical time after July 6, 2020;
          1. The elapsed time from the date each trial is currently set and the date the trial is reset to is specifically excluded from speedy trial calculation pursuant to CrRLJ 3.3(e)(8).
      5. Jail Release Docket:
        1. The jail release docket is suspended.
  3. Synopsis of procedural changes for civil infraction, code, photo enforcement, and towing and impound cases under Emergency Order 2020-11:
    1. Contested Infractions Hearings:
      1. All in-person contested infraction hearings will be reset after June 30, 2020.
      2. By-mail contested infraction hearings will be considered as normal.
    2. Mitigation Hearings
      1. All in-person mitigation hearings will be converted to by-mail mitigations.
      2. Mitigations via mail will continue to be reviewed as normal, with written decisions mailed to the defendant.
      3. Mitigations can be completed by the clerks at the Spokane Municipal Court Clerk’s Office, with no need for additional mailings or appearances.
    3. Infraction Motion Hearings
      1. All infraction motions will be done in chambers, with no oral argument, and be decided on the pleadings on file with the Court.
        1. A written decision will be mailed to the parties.
    4. Vehicle Impounds
      1. Vehicles Currently Impounded
        1. Hearings on vehicle impounds, where the vehicle is currently impounded will be heard as normal.
        2. Hearings on vehicle impounds, where the car has been released from impound will be scheduled after June 30, 2020.
  4. Synopsis of procedural changes for administrative matters under Emergency Order 2020-01.
    1. E-FILE System – Emergency
      1. Court has adopted an emergency ad hoc email based filing system.
      2. Instructions available here, or at the Spokane Municipal Court counter.

Contact Information

Municipal Court Clerk's Office
1100 W Mallon Ave
Spokane, WA 99260
509.625.4400
mcadmin@spokanecity.org

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