Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2000 NO. 2 > Mar 6 2000

RCW 39.34.180 does not obligate a county to enter into a contract with a city or town to handle, through the county’s court system, misdemeanor cases referred from the city or town’s law enforcement officers; however, once a county has agreed to enter into such an agreement, the county must submit to binding arbitration if no agreement is reached concerning the payments to be made under the agreement.

AGO 1995 NO. 9 > Jun 30 1995

1.  If a vacancy occurs in a municipal court position established under Chapter 35.20 RCW (cities of over four hundred thousand population), or Chapter 3.50 RCW (all other cities), the vacancy will be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term, with no midterm special election.  2.  If a vacancy occurs in a municipal department of a district court operating pursuant to Chapter 3.46 RCW, the vacancy in the district court position will be filled by appointment by the county legislative authority with subsequent special election for the remainder of the term served (but any such election must occur only in an even-numbered year); the city will subsequently decide which judges on the district court will be designated as municipal department judges.  3.  If a city creates a new municipal court position or a new municipal department position, to take effect during the term prescribed by statute for such positions, the new position will be filled in the same manner as if a vacancy had occurred in an existing position in the same court.  4.  If a city creates a new municipal court position pursuant to Chapter 3.50 of Chapter 35.20 RCW, effective as of the beginning of the next statutory term for such a judgeship, the initial judge will be chosen by election if it is a full-time position or a part-time position covered by RCW 3.50.055; otherwise, the city may elect to make the position elective or appointive.  5.  If a city creates a new municipal department position within a district court pursuant to Chapter 3.46 RCW, and the judge is to serve the municipal department full-time, and the position will take effect with the beginning of the next term for district court judges, the initial judge will be nominated and elected in the manner for district court judges but with only electors of the city voting for the position.  6. If a city creates a new municipal department position within a district court pursuant to Chapter 3.46 RCW, to take effect with the beginning of the next term for district court judges, and the judge is to serve the municipal department part-time, the city may either designate an existing district judge to serve the municipal department, or provide that a new district judge nominated and elected by the judicial district will serve in the new municipal department position.

AGO 1965 NO. 26 > Jun 28 1965

A city of the third class with a population of over 5,000 which has elected to come under the municipal court provisions of the 1961 Justice Court Act (chapter 3.50 RCW) is not affected by chapter 7, Laws of 1965, or by § 11, chapter 116, Laws of 1965, Ex. Sess.