Wahkiakum courts list new procedures
May 7, 2020
Wahkiakum Superior Court and District Courts and the County Clerk office continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, and to collaborate with state officials and the Wahkiakum County Health Department to ensure the health and safety of the courts, the judicial community, and the public. All jury trials have been cancelled through July 6.
While access to the courthouse remains restricted for health and safety during the pandemic, functions at the courthouse are still available during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, starting in May, Superior Court and District Court proceedings will be conducted primarily through online video conferencing and telephone via Zoom and live-streamed via YouTube.
The courts will send hearing notices by mail or email, along with instructions for using Zoom to participate in a hearing. Instructions for Zoom will also be available on the courts’ websites, and by email or mail upon request.
The Washington Constitution requires all courts to provide public access to court proceedings. To do this, remote proceedings will be streamed live via YouTube. Hearing notices for case participants will include instructions for accessing live hearings on YouTube. Links to each court’s YouTube channel will be posted on each court’s website.
Some hearings will need to be held in person to preserve the right to due process of law, or when needed to obtain emergency relief. In those situations, the proceeding will be conducted under conditions that protect the health and safety of all participants.
To those before the courts who are at high risk of severe illness from the corona virus, courts are encouraged to liberally grant additional accommodations to parties, witnesses, attorneys, and others.
People with active cases are asked to work with their lawyers to arrange to appear through Zoom or by phone, or to reschedule. If they don't have an attorney, or have any questions, one should visit the courts’ websites or call District Court at 360-795-3461 or Superior Court at 360-795-3558.
People can also find on the courts’ websites Emergency Court Orders, court updates, and other information related to changes in court operations during the pandemic, such as jury duty, jury trials, in person access to Superior and District Court Clerk’s offices, filing court documents by email and fax--mail is discouraged, or drop offs to the large blue drop box located outside the front entry at 64 Main Street.
Online court services remain available for some court business, including payment of fines, paying tickets, accessing commonly used forms, and more.