Chapter 2.36   MUNICIPAL COURT


2.36.010   Established—Name.

There is established a municipal court entitled "The Municipal Court of the City of Black Diamond," hereinafter referred to as "municipal court," which court shall have jurisdiction and shall exercise all powers enumerated in this chapter and in RCW Chapter 3.50, as amended by Chapter 258, Laws of 1984, together with such other powers and jurisdiction as are generally conferred upon such a court in this state, either by common law or by express statute.

(Ord. 296 § 2, 1984)

2.36.020   Jurisdiction.


The municipal court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over traffic infractions and civil infractions arising under city ordinances, and exclusive original criminal jurisdiction of all violations of city ordinances duly adopted by the city. The municipal court shall have original jurisdiction of all other actions brought to enforce or recover license penalties or forfeitures declared or given by such ordinances or by state statutes.


The municipal court is empowered to forfeit cash bail, or bail bonds, and issue execution thereon; and in general to hear and determine all causes, civil or criminal, including traffic infractions and civil infractions, arising under such ordinances and to pronounce judgment in accordance therewith.

(Ord. 296 § 3, 1984)

(Ord. No. 1003, § 2, 6-20-2013)

2.36.030   Judges—Appointment and qualifications.


The municipal judge holding office on July 1, 1984, the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, shall continue to hold office until expiration of his or her term or January 1, 1986, whichever occurs first. The term of a successor shall commence on January 1, 1986 and on January 1st of each fourth year thereafter, pursuant to appointment as provided below.


The municipal judge shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the city council, for a term of four years. Appointments shall be made on or before December 1st of the year next preceding the year in which the term commences.


A person appointed as municipal judge shall be a citizen of the United States of America and of the state of Washington and a resident of King County, Washington.

(Ord. 575 § 1, 1995: Ord. 296 § 4, 1984)

2.36.040   Salaries and costs.

The salary of the municipal court judge shall be fixed by ordinance. All costs of operating the municipal court, including but not limited to salaries of judges and court employees, dockets, books of records, forms, furnishings and supplies, shall be paid wholly out of the funds of the city. The city shall provide a suitable place for holding court and pay all expenses of maintaining it.

(Ord. 296 § 5, 1984)

2.36.050   Municipal court employees.

All employees of the municipal court shall, for all purposes, be deemed employees of the city. They shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the municipal judge.

(Ord. 296 § 6, 1984)

2.36.060   Judges pro tem.


The mayor shall, in writing, appoint judges pro tem who shall act in the absence or disability of the regular judge of the municipal court, or subsequent to the filing of an affidavit of prejudice.


The judge pro tem shall be qualified to hold the position of judge of the municipal court, as provided in this chapter.


The judge pro tem shall receive such compensation as fixed by ordinance.


The term of the appointment shall be specified in writing, but in any event shall not extend beyond the term of the appointing mayor.

(Ord. 862 § 1, 2008; Ord. 296 § 7, 1984)

2.36.070   Judicial vacancy.

Any vacancy in the municipal court due to a death, disability, or resignation of a municipal court judge shall be filled by the mayor for the remainder of the unexpired term. The appointment shall be subject to confirmation of the city council. The appointed judge shall be qualified to hold the position of judge of the municipal court as provided in this chapter.

(Ord. 296 § 8, 1984)

2.36.080   Municipal court hours.

The municipal court shall be open and shall hold such regular and special sessions as may be prescribed by the municipal court judge; provided, that the municipal court shall not be open on nonjudicial days.

(Ord. 296 § 9, 1984)

2.36.090   Sentences.


In all cases of conviction, unless otherwise provided in RCW Chapters 3.30 through 3.74 as now or hereafter amended, where a jail sentence is given to the defendant, execution shall issue accordingly and where the judgment of the court is that the defendant pay a fine and costs, the defendant may be committed to jail until the judgment is paid in full.


A defendant who has been committed shall be discharged upon the payment for such part of the fine and costs as remains unpaid after deducting from the whole amount any previous payment, and after deducting the amount allowed for each day of imprisonment, which amount shall be the same and computed in the same manner as provided for superior court cases in RCW 10.82.030 and 10.82.040, as now or hereafter amended. In addition, all other proceedings in respect of such fine and costs shall be the same as in like cases in the superior court.


Every person convicted by the municipal court of a violation of the criminal provisions of an ordinance for which no punishment is specifically prescribed in the ordinance, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment in the city jail for a period not to exceed one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(Ord. 296 § 10, 1984)

2.36.100   Deferral and suspension of sentences.


After a conviction, the court may defer sentencing and place the defendant on probation and prescribe the conditions thereof, but in no case shall it extend for more than two years from the date of conviction. During the time of the deferral, the court may, for good cause shown, permit a defendant to withdraw the plea of guilty, permit the defendant to enter a plea of not guilty, and dismiss the charges.


For a period not to exceed two years after imposition of sentence, the court shall have continuing jurisdiction and authority to suspend the execution of all or any part of the sentence upon stated terms, including installment payment of fines.


Deferral of sentence and suspension of execution of sentence may be revoked if the defendant violates or fails to carry out any of the conditions of the deferral or suspension. Upon the revocation of the deferral or suspension, the court shall impose the sentence previously suspended or any unexecuted portion thereof. In no case shall the court impose a sentence greater than the original sentence, with credit given for the time served and money paid on fine and costs.


Any time before entering an order terminating probation, the court may revoke or modify its order suspending the imposition or execution of the sentence. If the ends of justice will be served and when warranted by the reformation of the probationer, the court may terminate the period of probation and discharge the person so held.

(Ord. 296 § 11, 1984)

2.36.110   Complaints.

All criminal prosecutions for the violation of a city ordinance shall be conducted in the name of the city and may be upon the complaint of any person.

(Ord. 296 § 12, 1984)

2.36.120   Pleadings, practice and procedure.

Pleadings, practice and procedure in cases not governed by statutes or rules specifically applicable to municipal courts shall, insofar as applicable, be governed by the statutes and rules now existing, or hereafter adopted, governing pleadings, practice and procedure applicable to district courts.

(Ord. 296 § 13, 1984)

2.36.130   Case transfers.

A transfer of a case from the municipal court to either another municipal judge of the same city or to a judge pro tempore appointed in the manner prescribed by this chapter shall be allowed in accordance with RCW 3.66.090 in all civil and criminal proceedings.

(Ord. 296 § 14, 1984)

2.36.140   Court seal.

The municipal court shall have a seal which shall be the vignette of George Washington, with the words "Seal of the Municipal Court of Black Diamond, State of Washington," surrounding the vignette.

(Ord. 296 § 15, 1984)

2.36.150   Removal of judge.

A municipal judge shall be removed only upon conviction of misconduct or malfeasance in office, or because of physical or mental disability rendering the judge incapable of performing the duties of the office. Any vacancy in the municipal court due to death, disability or resignation of the municipal court judge shall be filled by the mayor, for the remainder of the unexpired term. The appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the city council. The appointed judge shall be qualified to hold the position of judge of the municipal court as provided in this chapter and RCW Chapter 3.50 as amended by Chapter 258, Laws of 1984.

(Ord. 296 § 16, 1984)

2.36.160   Civil jury trials.

In all civil cases, the plaintiff or defendant may demand a jury, which shall consist of six citizens of the state who shall be impaneled and sworn as in cases before district courts, or the trial may be by a judge of the municipal court; provided, that no jury trial may be held on a proceeding involving a traffic infraction. A party requesting a jury shall pay to the court a fee which shall be the same as that for a jury in district court. If more than one party requests a jury, only one jury fee shall be collected by the court. The fee shall be apportioned among the requesting parties. Each juror shall receive ten dollars for each day in attendance upon the municipal court, and in addition thereto shall receive mileage at the rate determined under RCW 43.03.060.

(Ord. 296 § 17, 1984)

2.36.170   Criminal process.

All criminal process issued by the municipal court shall be in the name of the state, and run throughout the state, and be directed to and served by the chief of police, marshal, or other police officer of any city, or to a sheriff in the state.

(Ord. 296 § 18, 1984)