Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1992 NO. 13 > Jun 30 1992

1.  Article 28 of the Washington Constitution (Amendment 78) provides that an independent salary commission shall set the salary for district court judges.  With regard to part-time district court judges, the commission has set the salary based on the proportion of full-time work for which the part-time judge is authorized.  The county legislative authority determines the proportion of work for which the part-time district court judge is authorized. 2.  Prior to 1991 the commission had not established a salary for part-time district court judges.  Amendment 78 provides that salaries in effect in 1987 shall remain in effect until changed by the commission.  Thus, part-time district court judge salaries were set pursuant to RCW 3.58.020 until 1991 when the commission changed the salary.  At that time, the salaries were properly set by the commission. 3.  RCW 3.46.060 provides that a nonattorney can seek election as a district court judge under certain circumstances.  A nonattorney district court judge can seek reelection if he or she is a registered voter of the district court district, and has been elected and has served as a district court judge.  A nonattorney district court judge with these two qualifications can seek reelection even if the population of the district is between 5,000 and 10,000.