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Posted on: March 16, 2020

Municipal Court limits operations amid COVID-19 concerns

Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge Sara McCulloch approved an emergency administrative order Monday, March 16 to limit operations at the Municipal Court, located at 10255 NE Valley Road, due to public health concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.

“In order to promote the public health goals identified by public officials, and promote the health and safety of users and staff at the court, it is necessary to modify operations and reduce in-person attendance,” McCulloch wrote in the order.

Beginning March 16, all currently scheduled court matters will be postponed and rescheduled by the court clerks, with the following exceptions:

  • Traffic Infractions and Parking Mitigation cases by mail will be reviewed as scheduled. All infraction and parking hearings that require the appearance of any party will be rescheduled to a later date.
  • Criminal cases where a defendant is detained in custody on that particular criminal case will proceed as currently scheduled. New criminal cases where a defendant is detained on that case will continue to be scheduled for hearing per the usual rules and practice of the court.
  • Protection order hearings will proceed as currently scheduled, including domestic violence, anti-harassment, sexual assault, stalking or extreme risk order. New petitions for such orders will also be scheduled per the usual rules and practice of the court.
  • Review hearings set to determine compliance with any order issued to surrender weapons, install ignition interlock, and comply with pre-trial drug and alcohol monitoring, will continue as normally scheduled even if an underlying criminal case is being rescheduled to a later date.
  • Matters may be scheduled if a written request to the judge is presented explaining the emergent need for a hearing, or upon a judicial determination of an emergent need. The matter may be scheduled for telephonic, video, or in-person hearing, depending on the circumstances of the case.
  • Civil motions may be noted and heard without oral argument.
  • Bench warrant quash requests by a defendant via email or telephone will be reviewed ex parte, provided that the defendant provides an updated address to the clerk.
  • Ex parte matters will continue to be processed.

For all hearings delayed by this order, notice of the next hearing will be mailed via postal mail. Anyone who needs to update their mailing address should contact the court clerk at 206-842-5641.

 For all hearings not continued by effect of the order, telephonic and video hearings will be permitted to the greatest extent possible in order to encourage social distancing as recommended by both the Centers for Disease Control and local public health officials.

Read the emergency administrative order here.

In addition, passport processing services by the Court staff is suspended at least until April 30. Requests for exceptions may be made by email to the Court with proof of upcoming travel out of the country or other emergency need for passport processing.

Litigants, attorneys, and other courthouse visitors who are experiencing illness should not enter the courthouse.

The courthouse will remain open. However, the public is encouraged to contact the court by phone (206-842-5641) and email (court@bainbridgewa.gov), rather than in-person, to the maximum extent possible.

Payments
If you need to make a payment while the Municipal Court and City Hall are closed, we have several options available:

  • Pay box: Put a check or envelope in the pay box located near the disabled parking area on the east end of City Hall.
  • By phone: Utility bills, court fines, and certain planning and building permits can by paid by calling 1-866-480-2558 and using our third party vendor, PayGov.
  • Online: Utility bills, court fines, and certain permits can also be paid at PayGov or on the City website.

Credit card fees charged by PayGov are waived while City Hall is closed.

Stay Informed

  • Nixle: Sign up for free emergency alerts from the City of Bainbridge Island Text 98110 to 888777 to opt-in or visit the Nixle website.
  • News Flash: Sign up for free email alerts when significant information is posted to the City’s website.
  • City website: https://www.bainbridgewa.gov/COVID19 

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