Thurston county district court

Thurston county district court DEFAULT


Ballotpedia:Trial Courts

The Thurston County District Court is a district court in Thurston County, Washington.


Former judges

See also

External links

See also: Washington judicial elections

Washington is one of 43 states that hold elections for judicial positions. To learn more about judicial selection in Washington, click here.

  • Washington local trial court judicial elections, 2021
  • Washington local trial court judicial elections, 2020
  • Washington local trial court judicial elections, 2019
  • Washington local trial court judicial elections, 2018
  • Washington local trial court judicial elections, 2017
  • Washington local trial court judicial elections, 2016
  • Washington judicial elections, 2015
  • Washington judicial elections, 2014
  • Washington judicial elections, 2013
  • Washington judicial elections, 2012
  • Washington judicial elections, 2010

Selection method

See also: Nonpartisan election of judges

Judges of the district courts are chosen in nonpartisan elections. They serve four-year terms, after which they must run for re-election if they wish to continue serving.[2][3]

To serve on a district court, a judge must be:[4]

  • a resident and registered voter of his or her district;
  • one of the following: licensed to practice law in the state; a former district judge, municipal judge, police judge or justice of the peace; able to pass a qualifying exam (in districts of more than 5000 people); and
  • under the age of 75.*[3]

*No judge is eligible to run for office after attaining the age of 75. If a sitting judge turns 75 while serving, he or she may continue serving until the end of that calendar year.[5]

Election rules

Primary election

Primaries are held only if more than two candidates file for a position. These contests are nonpartisan in nature.[6] The two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes in the primary advance to the general election. Until 2013, a candidate who won over 50 percent of the vote in the primary was then unopposed in the general election. But the law was amended in 2013. Since that amendment, the top two finishers in a judicial primary must advance to compete with each other in the general election.[7][8][9]

General election

In counties with a population greater than 100,000, if only one superior court candidate files for election for a judgeship, that candidate is automatically elected and the county does not hold a general election for the seat.[10] According to the 2010 census, the following counties had populations greater than 100,000:[11]

  1. Thurston County, Washington, "District Court: Judges," accessed October 14, 2014
  2. Washington Courts, "A Citizen's Guide to Washington Courts, Eleventh Edition," 2008
  3. 3.03.1Cite error: Invalid tag; no text was provided for refs named
  4. Washington State Legislature, "Washington State Constitution," accessed September 24, 2014(Scroll to Article IV)
  5. ↑Cite error: Invalid tag; no text was provided for refs named
  6. Washington State Legislature, "RCW 29A.52.220," accessed April 30, 2014
  7. Washington State Legislature, "RCW 29A.36.170," accessed April 30, 2014
  8. Washington Courts, "Judicial Election Information," July 13, 2012
  9. Washington Courts, "2013 Legislative Summary," accessed July 26, 2016
  10. Washington Secretary of State, "Judicial Elections in Washington State," accessed April 30, 2014
  11. U.S. Census Bureau, "Washington: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013," accessed July 24, 2014

Thurston County District Court

2000 Lakeridge Dr SW, Bldg 3, Olympia, WA 98502-6001
Thurston County

County Clerk, Judge, or Other Info:

Staff: Brett Buckley, Judge, 360-786-5562; Samuel G. Meyer, Judge, 360-786-5562; Kalo Wilcox, Judge , 360-786-5562,
Hours: 24 Hour Service

  • *Not location specific. Call, or visit the court's website if listed above.
  • How was I chosen? - Jurors are picked at random from lists of registered voters, people with driver's licenses, or those with state issued ID cards.
  • What are the exemptions? Depending on local laws and specific court policies, exemptions MAY include persons over age 70, and those having recently served on a jury (usually within 1-3 years depending on county policy). In the state of Washington, there are no automatic professional or government employee exemptions. If any of these apply to you, contact the court to verify they observe the exemption.
  • Go to our Jury Duty FAQ page for more on exceptions, requirements, pay, dress code, and other questions you might have.

Visit our Links Page for websites providing Employment Listings, as well as US Government holiday closings.

*Please call to verify. Is any of the above incorrect? Let us know here

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Civil Motion Hearings

Thurston County District Court will begin holding virtual Civil Motion Hearings on Friday January 15, 2021 at 1:30. Prior to filing you must either email the the Civil Department or call them at 360-754-4102 to schedule your hearing date and receive instructions on filing your motion. Please provide your case number when contacting us to schedule. We cannot schedule a hearing without the case number.

District Court Hearings Viewable Online

To reduce the risk of contagion, we hear many cases virtually and stream them to YouTube for public access. If you are coming to observe a case, please view the virtual calendar for court times and YouTube channel information.

COVID-19 Precautions

Thurston County District Court continues to work diligently to ensure the health and well-being of court employees, litigants, attorneys, and the general public while performing our Constitutional duties. The Court's COVID-19 Response Plan provides information on what the Court is doing to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Orders Regarding Court Operations

To view District Court's current order limiting operations and allowing streaming of court proceedings, click here.  


Thurston County District Court's Lacey CAC Calendar

Jury Trials Have Resumed in Thurston County

Martín Bilbao / The Olympian

Thurston County residents may be called for jury duty once again following the recent resumption of jury trials by District and Superior courts.

Thurston County District Court resumed jury trials on Wednesday for the first time since March 2020 and after implementing new COVID-19 safety measures. Meanwhile, Superior Court started its first jury trial since October in March and has so far conducted five trials.

These trials are being held at a Chandler Court office space leased by the county in October and opened in December. The two-year lease cost the county $468,000 for the first year with an expected 3% increase the second year, The Olympian previously reported.

Given the still-ongoing pandemic, residents can expect a different, more cautious experience if they are called for jury duty. The county leased the new space to set up courtrooms where physical distancing measures could be safely implemented, said District Court Presiding Judge Brett Buckley.

What jurors can expect

Prior to the pandemic, District Court Executive Officer Frankie Peters said about 20 people would report to the courtroom in person and sit shoulder to shoulder while the jury panel would be narrowed down in the voir dire process.

To avoid congregating too many people, he said District Court decided to move the jury selection process online while keeping the actual trial in-person. Peters said jurors responded positively to this process after it played out on Tuesday.

"From the input that I got, they were very appreciative of the opportunity to have that jury selection done virtually," Peters said.

Buckley said he was impressed by the jury's attentiveness during this process.

"It was striking to me how serious the jurors took this virtual voir dire," Buckley said. "One of the big concerns was 'well, if you can sit in your living room or your bedroom or wherever you are, you're going to be distracted.' ... These folks we're really good."

When someone gets a jury duty notice for District Court, they have a couple of opportunities to notify the court if they don't feel comfortable attending because of COVID-19 concerns, Peters said.

Buckley said the court would not compel someone to attend jury duty if they feel uncomfortable. In fact, he said it would not be ideal to have jurors experiencing anxiety.

"We're not going to force them to come to a place where they're going to spend all day worrying about, 'Am I getting sick today because I have to be here?'" Buckley said. "They are not going to be a good juror because they're going to be so distracted."

If someone cannot virtually participate in the jury selection process, the court will provide an internet-connected device and a private room at the court, Buckley said.

"Our goal is to make it so that nobody would be incapable of participating in the jury selection process because of some structural problem that's not of their own making," Buckley said.

Superior Court, on the other hand, is not conducting virtual jury selection. Instead, the court independently determined it could keep jurors safe, said court administrator Pam Hartman-Beyer.

"We felt like we could make it safe for jurors to come in person," Hartman-Beyer said. "Through the guidance of Public Health and Social Services, we have implemented a process in place that makes it safe."

Physical distancing and masks are required, and the court has a liberal rescheduling policy for people who are uncomfortable attending in person, said Jury Administrator Elizabeth Savel.

"We summon about 1,000 jurors every week and from that we generally bring in about 60 jurors depending on how many trials we have," Savel said.

Savel said jurors have until the week before their summons to notify the court if they feel uncomfortable attending. If they chose not to attend, Savel said she can reschedule jurors out to the end of the year.

About 25 jurors are brought into the courtroom at a time during the selection process, Savel said. This way the court can ensure adequate social distancing, she added.

"If they didn't want to be there, they would have already been rescheduled," Savel said. "So, for people that show up, it really feels like a normal day except with smaller groups of people."

Savel said jurors have largely offered positive feedback and Superior Court has not had to implement any changes so far.

Restarts and backlogs

District Court has attempted to restart jury trials at the Chandler Court space since it opened but fluctuating COVID-19 activity has prompted repeated delays, Buckley said.

"We were struggling with 'What's our number one obligation?'" Buckley said. "Is it the access to justice issue or is it (COVID-19) is deadly, and we have to keep people from getting the virus. ... We tried to walk that line ... but ultimately we decided public safety is the number one thing."

At the worst point, Peters said District Court had a backlog of about 2,000 cases. Now, he estimates about 1,300 to 1,400 cases remain in the backlog overall.

"We've been addressing the backlogs that we've been having and I've been seeing good progress ... but it's something we need to get through quicker than we already are," Peters said. "So getting these trials going is a big, crucial part of that."

District Court could have restarted jury trials as soon as April, but the restart was delayed six weeks due to logistical issues.

"What happens is people have been pleading guilty or the cases are being dismissed," Peters said. "It becomes hard to try a case a year later or a year and a half later. You don't know where the witnesses are. Are they still available? Are the stories the same?"

For now, District Court is addressing cases in chronological order, albeit while prioritizing cases where the suspects are in custody, Peters said. Although District Court only had one jury trial this week, he said they plan to eventually operate two at a time.

Meanwhile, Superior Court already has been conducting two trials at time. Savel said the court started a trial in March, one in April and three in May so far. Prior to this, Superior Court had only conducted five jury trials since March 2020 as COVID-19 continued to disrupt their plans.

As of Tuesday, Hartman-Beyer said about 150 in-custody cases are still awaiting trials. Although trials have resumed, they are being conducted at a slower pace.

"The process just takes a little bit longer than it used to," Hartman-Beyer said. "We try really hard to limit the amount of time that people are at court... I think that's the biggest difference between before and now."


Court thurston county district

Thurston County District Court

Court Reference

Home > Washington Court Guide > Thurston County, Washington Court Directory

Report Corrections Here

2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building 3
Olympia, WA98502

Phone: 360-786-5450
Fax: 360-754-3359

Website | Directions

Thurston County District Court also handles municipal court functions for Lacey, Rainier, and Tumwater, except for traffic violations handled by Lacey Violations Bureau or Tumwater Violations Division.

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Online Court Resources

Resources for the Thurston County District Court as well as online resources applicable to courts generally in Thurston County, Washington, and resources applicable to all courts in Washington.

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Thurston County District Court Name Change Forms and instructions

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Thurston County District Court Anti-Harassment Information

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Thurston County District Court Mental Health and Veterans Court

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Thurston County District Court Small Claims

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Thurston County District Court Traffic Infractions and Deferrals

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Thurston County Mediation

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Thurston County Superior Court Protection Orders

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Thurston County Public Defenders

Thurston County Public Defense (Office of Assigned Counsel) provides free legal representation to indigent defendants facing possible incarceration, indigent parties facing civil mental health commitments, and indigent parents and juveniles in some juvenile court proceedings.

Thurston County Victim Help

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Thurston County District Court's Lacey CAC Calendar

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