When Gov. Inslee issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order several weeks ago, courts were immediately impacted. Marysville’s city courthouse has been closed to the public since March 17, following the direction of the Governor and the Washington State Supreme Court.
With a backlog of over 2,000 cases and an unknown date for reopening safely, Marysville Municipal Court began doing things differently this week. Court hearings are now being conducted virtually via GoToMeeting.
“We were worried about the tsunami that was happening by not doing court hearings,” explained Court Administrator Suzanne Elsner.
Once the decision was made to use remote video hearings, city Information Services staff quickly responded with the necessary technical equipment. Judge Fred Gillings and Judge Lorrie Towers participated in training sessions along with court staff and attorneys to make sure the web-based platform would work correctly. Within eight days, the new court model was up and running. Video hearings began on Monday, April 27.
What has changed?
- All criminal case hearings are being conducted via GoToMeeting and by phone.
- All jury trials are canceled through May.
- Temporary protection orders for Marysville or Lake Stevens residents can be requested online. Permanent protection orders are issued through Snohomish County Superior Court.
- Infraction hearings are conducted by email only. If you receive a ticket, you can submit a hearing request online. If an attorney is representing you, your case will be held via GoToMeeting.
- Pay court fines and penalties online.
- Probation appointments are conducted by phone.
- If you have a warrant eligible for recall, call the Court for a new court date.
- To request a public defender, complete the application (available online) and mail or fax it to the Court.
- Public access to court hearings is available by accessing the GoToMeeting link or live stream audio from the Court web page.
Find forms and more information at https://www.marysvillewa.gov/144/Municipal-Court