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COVID-19 Coronavirus Court Closures - Kittitas County

Posted by Tony Swartz | Mar 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

I am compiling a list of court closure orders and other related information on this page for client reference. It is important to check with me, or check with your attorney if I do not represent you, before you rely on this information. All virus-related closures are an extremely fluid process that change sometimes hourly or daily. Again, do not rely on information simply because you saw it online.

Washington State Supreme Court

March 18, 2020 Supreme Court Order

The Washington State Supreme Court issued a sweeping State-wide order related to court process, continuances through at least April 24 2020 with some exceptions, speedy trial waiver orders, and more. It is highly recommended that you read the full 8 page order. It should be noted that the Supreme Court's order most likely trumps any conflicting language in trial court orders. However, most or all of the current local trial court orders EXPAND on the Supreme Court language rather than conflict it, so these orders likely act in concert with each other. Again, it is important to consult with an attorney on your exact situation.​

Kittitas County Superior Court

March 17, 2020 emergency order

No jury trials will be held until May 2020 and most hearings will be continued. This is a wide-sweeping order that covers all kinds of cases within Superior Court, including criminal, juvenile, and civil cases. As such, I recommend you read the order itself rather than a summary. Non-essential matters will likely not be heard until after at least May 3, 2020. Essential matters are recommended to be agreed and/or heard via telephone until at least May 4, 2020.

Kittitas County Lower District Court (Ellensburg)

March 18, 2020 Emergency Order

March 17, 2020 Emergency Order

The Court continued all hearings and trials until further notice. Infractions will be heard electronically or by writing. The Court Administrator summarized this order as follows:

  • Criminal jury trials for March and April are cancelled and will be rescheduled to a date to be determined by the court with notices being sent to the parties. Prospective Jurors who received a summons for March, April and May do not need to come to court.
  • Infraction hearings not rescheduled will only be conducted electronically or by written statements. Infraction hearings where an officer is subpoenaed or SMD expert is requested will be reset to a date to be determined by the court with notices being sent to the parties.
  • The Lower Kittitas County District Court remains open and the intake desks remain open for new filings.  Mail will be received and processed usually within one business day of receipt and the public is encouraged to contact the court by telephone, email or fax. Court users are encouraged to utilize public health guidelines when interacting with Court staff.

Kittitas Country Upper District Court (Cle Elum)

March 16, 2020 Emergency Order

Most criminal hearings, including trials, are cancelled until further notice unless the matter is for a protection orders, domestic  violence case or a DUI-related case. Infractions will be held via phone if an attorney is involved. The Court Administrator summarized this order as follows:

  • If you need a Protection Order and you are unable to come to the Court in person, please contact the Court by phone (509) 674-5533, email: [email protected] or fax (509) 674-4209, you will be provided a Petition by email/fax/mail;
    • Most hearings scheduled for March and April will be continued until after May 18, 2020.  Parties will be notified of a new court date with notice sent by U.S. Mail.  Defendants may contact the Court to update a mailing address;
    • Jury Trials scheduled for March and April have been canceled. Jurors do not need to report.  
    • The following hearings will not be cancelled at this time:  In-Custody Hearings, DUI/Physical Control/DV First Appearances, Domestic Violation/Harassment Protection Order matters;
    • If you have an infraction matter, you may submit a Request for Decision on Written Statement;
    • If you are requesting to Quash a Warrant, please submit a written Motion to Quash.  The matter will be reviewed and you will be notified of the Court's decision;
    • If you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Court Staff during regular business hours.

Again, it is  really important that you check with me or another attorney before relying on the above information, as it may have changed since I posted this. I am going to do my best to update this information as things change, but I may not be able to do so immediately. Do not rely on it alone when making a decision as to what you should or shouldn't do. That's why we have attorneys.

About the Author

Tony Swartz

Tony Swartz is an experienced lawyer in Washington State. He has handled, most from start to finish, over 10,000 criminal cases. He has dealt with various types of civil cases, including administrative law hearings, Superior Court cases, District Court cases, and more.

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Law Office of Tony Swartz

Tony Swartz is a lawyer who practices criminal defense in Kittitas County and Yakima County. He also represents clients with speeding tickets and other infractions. Call today for a free consultation.

Tony has lived in Ellensburg since 2005, other than a brief break for law school. He attended CWU and Willamette University College of Law.

Contact Info

​PO Box 684
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Office: 422 N Pine, Ellensburg WA 98926

[email protected]
509-293-7593
Fax: 509-295-8378

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