Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1978 NO. 4 >

(1) The provisions of RCW 12.12.030, as amended by §§ 2 of chapters 53 and 248, Laws of 1977, 1st Ex. Sess., are applicable to civil proceedings in district justice courts organized under the justice court act of 1961; however, neither RCW 10.46.190 nor RCW 35.20.090, as respectively amended by §§ 1 and 3 of the foregoing 1977 acts, are applicable to such district justice courts either in connection with criminal or traffic proceedings in such courts. Jury fees in criminal or traffic cases tried in district justice courts are now governed, instead, by the provisions of chapter 96, Laws of 1975-76, 2nd Ex. Sess. (RCW 10.01.160, et seq. ).  (2) The jury fee provided for by RCW 12.12.030, as amended, is to be paid to the county in which the trial occurred and not to be distributed to the jurors.  (3) In civil cases tried before a jury in a district justice court, the only cost item for jury fees which may be imposed is the $25 item provided for in RCW 12.12.030, as amended; however, defendants in criminal or traffic cases tried by a jury in a district court may be charged the actual expenses of providing the jury ‑ but only if (1) the expenses are especially incurred in prosecuting the defendant and (2) the defendant was charged with an offense punishable by imprisonment of six months or less, or a fine of $500 or less, or both.  (4) To the extent that a jury fee is recoverable at all in connection with a criminal trial in a district justice court, that jury fee may be collected from a criminal defendant only after conviction.

AGO 1974 NO. 7 >

A municipal peace officer may not execute a warrant issued by a municipal court under RCW 3.50.180 outside of the territorial boundaries of the peace officer's municipality.

AGLO 1981 NO. 8 >

A district justice court has the authority, under RCW 6.32.010 and 6.32.015, to order examination of judgment debtors personally or by written interrogatories.

AGO 1985 NO. 9 >

Where a district justice court imposes a fine and then suspends a portion of that fine pursuant to RCW 3.62.010 and/or RCW 3.66.086 [3.66.068], the public safety and education assessment provided for in RCW 3.62.090 is only to be based upon the portion of the fine which is not suspended.

AGLO 1975 NO. 10 >

Although a city which has established a department of a district justice court under chapter 3.46 RCW is required by RCW 3.46.090 to pay all or a portion of the district judge's salary, such city is not required to pay any portion of the county's terminal leave benefits to the judge upon his retirement.

AGO 1968 NO. 17 >

The costs incurred by a county which is engaged in probation and parole services for persons convicted of crimes in justice court, under § 9, chapter 200, Laws of 1967, may not be regarded as expenditures of the justice court; hence, in the case of a county which has adopted the justice court system established by chapter 299, Laws of 1961, these probation and parole costs may not be funded as justice court expenditures under the provisions of RCW 3.62.050.

AGLO 1982 NO. 18 >

An attorney who is not also an elected justice of the peace, but who is appointed as the police judge of a code city under RCW 35A.20.020, does not thereby gain the powers of a justice of the peace as well.

AGO 1984 NO. 20 >

(1) The correct compensation to be paid under RCW 3.34.130 to a pro tem district court judge is one two-hundred fiftieth of the annual salary of a full-time district court judge (as provided for in RCW 3.58.010), regardless of whether the regular judge in whose place the pro tem justice is serving is a part-time, or a full-time, district court judge. (2) When a part-time district court judge holds court in another judicial district within the same county, he or she is not entitled to be compensated for that service as a district court justice pro tempore under RCW 3.34.130, in addition to receiving reimbursement for subsistence, lodging and travel expenses under RCW 3.34.140.

AGO 1972 NO. 22 >

Attorneys who are constitutionally required to be appointed to represent indigent defendants in misdemeanor cases before a district justice court are to be compensated for their services under RCW 10.01.110; however, the costs of such compensation must be drawn from the county current expense fund of the county in which the court is situated and not from justice court revenues under RCW 3.62.050.

AGLO 1974 NO. 28 >

A nonlawyer who is currently serving as a full-time district court judge in a first class county may not file a declaration of candidacy for reelection in November, 1974, to a new term of office commencing in January, 1965, in view of the enactment of § 3, chapter 14, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess.; if a nonlawyer is presently serving as an incumbent district court judge, however, such a nonlawyer may serve out the remainder of his present term of office ending in January, 1975.