While county admin offices are closed, courts are open

We were surprised to see a letter to the editor on March 30 alleging that the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett was closed. We think it is important to clarify any confusion that this letter may have caused.

The Snohomish County Courthouse has never been closed during the pandemic. The doors to our courtrooms have been open every single day, except holidays and weekends. The Snohomish County court system comprises Superior Court (located in the courthouse in downtown Everett), Juvenile Court (located in North Everett), and District Court (with courts located in Arlington, Everett, Lynnwood, and Monroe). These courts have remained open to provide access to justice to the citizens of Snohomish County.

We have continued to conduct jury trials, except for limited periods when health concerns compelled us to suspend them. Even so, we heard other matters such as petitions for protection orders, civil motions and, bench trials as examples.

It is possible the writer confused the County Administration building with the courthouse. These offices have generally not been open to the public and require a call to obtain service. It is also possible the writer was confused because there are non-court offices located within the county courthouse that have not been open to the public without placing a call first.

We are proud of the work we and all our staff have done to keep our courtroom doors open to the public to provide critical access to our citizens. We have worked hard to provide a safe environment for the public and our staff during these very challenging times. We have obtained input from the Snohomish Health District and the Washington state Department of Health in modifying our operations to maximize the safety of all of us. We are steadfast in our mission to provide public access and public service to the citizens of Snohomish County.

But most of all, we are very proud of and grateful to the many citizens of Snohomish County who have braved the pandemic to come to the courthouse to serve as jurors in the many jury trials we have conducted throughout this pandemic. Their participation has been crucial in helping us protect the rights of our citizens.

Judge Douglas Fair

on behalf of Snohomish County District and Superior Court commissioners and judges

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