FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2020
District and Municipal Court Closure
Given the recent increase in the number of COVID19 cases in Cowlitz County specifically and Washington State in general and given the latest order from Governor Inslee the court has decided to cancel all scheduled hearings for District and Municipal Courts.
To ensure the safety of the general public, case participants, attorneys and staff we will again be rescheduling all pending hearings. In-custody and mandatory appearance cases will still be heard daily.
At this point in time the court has over 700 arraignments that were scheduled to be heard this week and again those hearings have all been cancelled. There are over 1200 pre-trials that were scheduled to be heard over the next 6 weeks and again those hearings have all been cancelled.
The Court realizes that this is difficult for all parties involved in these cases, but the safety of everyone involved is of utmost importance.
If you have a pending case please make sure that the court has your most up to date contact information.
The Hall of Justice hours have been changed to 9:00am to 3:00pm daily. District Court will still be open 8:30am – 5:00pm and can be reached by phone at 360-577-3073.
Due to rapidly changing circumstances around COVID-19, Cowlitz County District Court has substantially curtailed court operations. All previously scheduled hearings are continued until after July 1, 2020. There are exceptions for in-custody and mandatory criminal matters.
The court is rescheduling hearings and advising parties by mail. Make sure that the court has your most current mailing address. Please contact District Court at 360-577-3073 to update your address and telephone number.
If you have an attorney in your case make sure to keep in contact with them for future hearings.
The court is still accepting petitions for protection from unlawful harassment. You can obtain the forms at District Court or here.
While in court you will be required to maintain social distancing and wear a face mask. You will be provided a disposable mask if you do not have one available.
Courtroom capacity will be very limited to maintain social distancing. Courtrooms may not have seats available for spectators.
Cowlitz County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. The court hears criminal, civil, traffic infraction, and miscellaneous cases filed by:
- Washington State Patrol
- Cowlitz County Sheriff
- Cowlitz County Humane Society
- Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney
- Department of Natural Resources
- State Department of Fish and Wildlife
In addition to these cases the cities of Longview, Kelso, Kalama, Woodland, and Castle Rock contract with the District Court to have their cases heard.
District Court clerks are not allowed to give you any legal advice. This includes: what to say in court, how to file civil forms, what plea to make on a charge, or change any order from a judge.
About the Judges
District Court judges are elected to four-year terms and, in addition to hearing cases, they are authorized to perform civil marriage ceremonies.