OLYMPIA — The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill to increase the number of District Court judges in Snohomish County.
Senate Bill 5003 creates one additional judgeship, bringing the county’s total to 9. It would be the first expansion of the bench in a quarter century, a period in which the county’s population has grown 40%, and not surprisingly, the court’s caseload has swelled too.
Snohomish County’s District Court is made up of four divisions — Cascade, Everett, Evergreen and South. They handle infractions, along with criminal traffic and criminal non-traffic violations. They also process small claims, civil actions, name changes, anti-harassment orders and domestic violence protection orders.
The county’s District Court handles more filings annually than every other district court in the state, except King County, according to presiding District Court Judge Jennifer Rancourt.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.