FIFE MUNICIPAL COURT UPDATE
September 21, 2021
Trial by jury is a fundamental, constitutional right. Consequently, without jurors, justice is denied. In times of concern, it is as critical as ever that the justice system not fail its citizens. The Fife Municipal Court is a one-room court and the concerns of the Delta variant suggest that we should not submit our jurors to preventable health risks. All jury trials will be suspended until December 1, 2021. At that time, we will review the current trends of public health.
MASKING AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES
Fife Municipal Court requires masks and physical distancing to remain in effect at the Criminal Justice Center. Masks will be made available at the entrance to the Criminal Justice Center. These restrictions will be reviewed on December 1, 2021.
- For all questions, contact Court Administration at (253) 922-6635.
Court Operations Update
Infraction hearings resumed in person on August 23, 2021. This includes photo enforcement hearings. The option to submit a declaration by mail rather than appear in person is still available. Contested and Mitigation declaration forms are available online by clicking the links below. The Judge reviews declarations, and a written response is subsequently mailed to you within 2 weeks. Make sure the declaration has your current address. No appeal is permitted from a decision made upon written statements.
Criminal hearings remain in person.
Declaration by mail for Mitigation Hearing: Click here
Declaration by mail for Contested Hearing: Click here
Through teamwork, provide the public an independent, accessible, integrated judicial system that treats all individuals with dignity, respect, honesty and fairness, by dispensing justice in an equitable and just manner.
The Municipal Court is a Court of Limited Jurisdiction that hears criminal misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, infractions, parking and photo infraction violations that occur in the City of Fife.
Small Claims & Civil Cases
The Municipal Court does not hear small claims or civil cases, change names or issue marriage licenses. Please contact Pierce County District Court at 253-798-7474 for more information.
Court proceedings are open to the public. Parties interested in viewing hearings should contact the court to verify session times.
Please be mindful that the courtroom is not an appropriate place for children.
Information Available from Fife Municipal Court Administration & Court Employees
Court staff can:
- Tell you the status of a specific case, unless the case or information in the case is confidential. Confidential information is not available to the public because of state law or a judge’s decision.
- Provide the court file or a portion of the file if public information. If the case is confidential, you will need a court order to see the file.
- Give you general information on court rules, procedures and practices.
- Provide court-approved or required forms or tell you where you can find forms. There may be a charge for some forms. Forms are not available for all legal proceedings.
- Offer guidance on how to compute some deadlines and due dates.
- Provide court schedules and information on how to get matters scheduled.
- Provide the telephone number of the local attorney referral service or information about other agencies that may assist you.
Please Note: Court staff do not know the answers to all questions about court rules, procedures and practices.
Court Staff Cannot
- Advise you about whether you should file a case or whether you should take any particular action in a case.
- Tell you what words to put in a form.
- Tell you what to say in court.
- Tell you what decision the judge will make or what sentence the judge will impose.
- Comment about specific persons you may name in a petition or pleading.
- Apply the law nor give directions about how to respond in any aspect of the legal process.
- Change an order signed by a judge.
- Let you talk to a judge outside of court.
Court staff provides information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may wish to call the Lawyer Referral Program of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar, at 253-383-3432, for the name of an attorney practicing in this area.
The court, including the judge and all staff, must remain impartial. They do not take sides in any matter coming before the court.