Posted on September 16, 2020
Posted on August 26, 2020
PIERCE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT REMAINS OPEN
Pierce County Superior Court remains open and committed to providing essential services in a manner that is as safe and responsible as possible.
The Court continues to operate pursuant to the Emergency Orders issued in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- All orders are extended through at least May 4, 2020, and extended to comply with the Governor’s phase-in programs releasing the Stay Home-Stay Healthy orders (see Emergency Order #14 and Emergency Order #15)
- All criminal trials are suspended until at least July 6, 2020, and 6-person civil jury trials will not commence until on or after September 1, 2020, and 12-person civil jury trials will not commence until on or after least November 1, 2020. (see Emergency Order #5 and Emergency Order #15 and Emergency Order #16)
- In-custody criminal arraignments, bail hearings, and in-custody pleas and sentences will still occur (see Emergency Order #5 and Emergency Order #15)
- Civil bench trials may occur with the agreement of all parties and the permission of the Judicial Department. All attorneys, parties and witnesses must appear remotely via phone or video. Contact your assigned Judicial Department if you are interested in holding a bench trial with these conditions (see Emergency Order #4, Emergency Order #5, and )
- Parties may still note and file civil motions, which will be considered on the pleadings only, unless telephonic argument is requested by the Court. Motions must still be confirmed. Proposed orders must be included with each motion. (see Emergency Order #4 )
- Domestic Violence, Vulnerable Adult, and other Protection Orders: To request an initial order, appear in person at the Superior Court Clerk’s Office (930 Tacoma Avenue S., Room 110) to complete the petition and to appear for your initial hearing before a Court Commissioner. Partner relationships can also call Family Justice Center (253) 798-4166 or the YWCA at (253) 383-2593. To appear for a final DVPO hearing, make arrangements for a telephonic hearing through Court Call at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders will be heard via ZOOM or in person in Courtroom 100. To accommodate the named vulnerable adult, the vulnerable adult may request to appear by telephone or in person.
- Court Commissioner Hearings: Please see the All properly scheduled family and civil hearings will be conducted via ZOOM. Unlawful Detainers/Evictions have been suspended by order of the Governor. Most Ex Parte matters may be submitted electronically with the Clerk’s Office. Ex Parte mail fees are waived through August 31, 2020. The fee will begin being imposed on September 1, 2020 (see .Emergency Order #4 and Emergency Order #10 ) Latest updates on the Commissioners’ page, or call (253) 798-6890.
- Remote proceedings are not to be recorded by audio or video or photographed (see Emergency Order #17)
- Pierce County Juvenile Court is conducting limited proceedings using remote appearances (see Emergency Order #7 )
- Western State Hospital is conducting proceedings using remote appearances (see Emergency Order #8 ) and Joel’s Law Petitions continue to be processed by the Commissioner at WSH.
All Emergency Orders are on the "Emergency Order" tab on this page. Please continue to check the Pierce County Superior Court website frequently as the Emergency Orders are subject to change and additional Emergency Orders may be issued.
Questions about individual cases should be directed to the assigned Judicial Department, Criminal Division Presiding Judge (for unassigned criminal cases) or the Presiding Judge (for unassigned civil cases).
For the most recent and detailed information, see the Emergency Temporary Procedures for Commissioner Hearings, amended as of July 13, 2020.
This information is in effect as of July 13, 2020 and is subject to change based on Orders from Governor Inslee’s and Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephens. Please check back periodically.
Proposed Orders must be emailed or faxed to the Commissioner Services Department one court day before the hearing. They should be in Word format.
With certain exceptions, the Commissioners use Zoom as the platform for remote hearings. When the use of Zoom is not technologically feasible for a litigant, alternative technology shall be used, such as CourtCall or courtroom telephone.
All parties and attorneys shall obtain a LINX account via the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. LINX account fees are currently waived for self-represented parties.
For Show Cause/Family Law Motions: There are no personal appearances at the courthouse. All hearings will be conducted by remote video conferencing using Zoom. The court will serve as host and send an email invite to the parties (all parties should make sure the court file includes the party’s email address and telephone number). The Zoom hearing will be streamed live by YouTube, unless the Commissioner determines otherwise.
For Uncontested Dissolutions: There are no personal appearances at the courthouse. The Commissioner will make decisions based on the documents in the LINX court file, the proposed orders, and Interrogatories. Submit proposed final pleadings prior to the day of hearing to Commissioner Services via email or fax. (253) 798-6897.
For Minor Settlements: Attendance of minor, parents, Settlement Guardian ad Litem and petitioning attorney are waived if agreed signed orders are emailed to Commissioner Services 1 court day prior to the scheduled hearing. If matter is contested, all parties shall appear as noted above via Zoom.
For Unlawful Detainers or Evictions: All these cases, with limited exceptions, are currently suspended by order of the Governor.
For Guardianship/Probate: There are no personal appearances at the courthouse. All hearings will be conducted by remote video conferencing using Zoom. The court will serve as host and send an email invite to the parties.
For Domestic Violence/Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders:
- To request an Initial Order: Appear in person at the Superior Court Clerk’s Office (930 Tacoma Avenue S., Room 110) to complete the petition and to appear for your initial hearing before a Court Commissioner. For intimate partner relationships, (spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common or persons who have or did have a dating relationship), you can also call the Family Justice Center, (253) 798-4166 or the YWCA, (253) 383-2593.
- To appear for a Final DVPO Hearing: Make arrangements for a telephonic hearing through Court Call at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders will be heard via ZOOM or in person in Courtroom 100. To accommodate the named vulnerable adult, the vulnerable adult may request to appear by telephone or in person.
For Ex Parte Electronic Mail: Electronic mail is for all agreed upon or unopposed orders or motions. (See list.) Those documents must be sent to the Superior Clerk’s Office. Original wills must be submitted to the Superior Clerk’s Office in advance.
ADDITIONAL CONTACT INFORMATION and WEBSITES:
- email: SUPCSD@piercecountywa.gov
- Fax number: (253) 798-6897
JUROR REPORTING BEGINS MONDAY, JULY 6
By order of the Washington Supreme Court all jury trials were suspended until after July 6, 2020. That time has now come. Therefore, on July 6, 2020 the Pierce County Superior Court and Jury Administration is reopening to jury trials.
The Pierce County Superior Court sincerely appreciates all who take the time to fulfill their jury duty responsibilities. Trial by jury is a fundamental constitutional right. Consequently, without jurors, justice is denied. In times of crisis it is as critical as ever that the justice system not fail its citizens. Even with the concerns with the COVID- virus jury trials must go forward.
Rest assured that we do not ask our jurors to be submitted to preventable health risks. The Pierce County Superior Court will take every responsible action to keep our jurors safe. We are following the Tacoma- Pierce County Health Department guidelines and best practices for COVID-19.
Do not come to jury duty if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus or you have been in contact with someone who is currently ill, or you have a cough, shortness of breath or a fever. If any of these concerns are applicable to you, you are instructed as follows:
- Jurors not assigned a department should call Jury Administration at (253)798-7782 and follow the instructions on the recording.
- Jurors assigned to a department should call the number provided by the judicial assistant.
You will find all the information about excusal or postponements under
- FAX 253-798-7057 or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Obtain a letter from your health care provider to be excused and then email us the letter at email@example.com before your report date.
- For work related excusals, contact your HR/Pay Roll for excusal letters to be mailed, FAX or emailed.
Please wear a mask on the first day you check-in. You will be provided masks for use while on jury duty. KN95’s will be available but not required and a cloth mask is acceptable.
Masks are required at all times during jury service unless eating, drinking or responding to direct questions.
We have secured the Tacoma Amory building located between the County City Building and the jury parking garage on 10th and Yakima. We are bringing in several waves of jurors in smaller groups, please double check the correct time when your group number has been requested to appear.
The jury entry door is located on the corner of 11th and Yakima. Once you arrive and park in our garage or the Blue Parking Lot in front of the Jail, walk south to the corner of 11th and Yakima where you will come through security into the building. Please keep 6’ between jurors while waiting in line. There will be markings on the ground to assist you.
Once inside, you will go through security, receive a health screening and then scan-in with jury staff. You will then enter a very large 22,000 sq. ft. auditorium that will safely seat 190 jurors at a time. We will have Social Distancing marks indicating where to stand or sit.
Once you are seated you will have orientation. You will then be assigned to a case, directed where to line-up and proceed with an escort to court which is down the hill to the County City Building. You will be escorted back up to the Armory once you are released from your courtroom. There will be cleanings throughout the day.
Please plan to keep your belongings with you at all times.
This matter comes before the Court on the COVID-19 public health emergency in Washington State.
Emergency Temporary Procedures for all Civil Protection Orders (4/24/20, 7/13/20)
Emergency/Temporary procedures for civil commissioner courtrooms at the County City Building. (3/18/20, 4/6/20, 5/18/20, 7/13/20)