Tukwila Municipal Court – Tukwila, WA

Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Tukwila Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tukwila Municipal Court
Address: “6200 Southcenter Blvd, Tukwila, WA 98188”
Phone: 206-433-1840

City: Tukwila
County: King
State: Washington

What is the role of the Tukwila Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Tukwila Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tukwila, Washington

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Tukwila?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific duration.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Tukwila, WA

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Tukwila Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1000 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Tukwila Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Tukwila Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tukwila, Washington?

In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Tukwila, Washington?

Depending on the area of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Tukwila Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.