Ryan Witt

Ryan Witt

In the age of "stay home" orders and Court closures, many Courts are moving towards technology like Zoom. The Kitsap County District Court is one to utilize this technology. This post is designed to allow you an easy way to enter a Kitsap County District Court Zoom Hearing.

 

How To Enter The Hearing


Click the following button for admission to the hearing. Unless you have already downloaded Zoom, you will need to download it when prompted. You may have to wait in a virtual waiting room until court begins.

 

CLICK HERE

 

If you have any questions or issues with joining the meeting, give us a call at (360) 792-1000 right away. We suggest entering the meetings about 5 minutes early so any issues can be resolved. We look forward to seeing you in our upcoming Zoom meeting!

In the age of "stay home" orders and Court closures, many Courts are moving towards technology like Zoom. The City of Poulsbo is one to utilize this technology. This post is designed to allow you an easy way to enter a Zoom Hearing. 

 

How To Enter The Hearing

Click the following button for admission to the hearing. Unless you have already downloaded Zoom, you will need to download it when prompted. You may have to wait in a virtual waiting room until court begins. 

 

CLICK HERE

 

If you have any questions or issues with joining the meeting, give us a call at (360) 792-1000 right away. We suggest entering the meetings about 5 minutes early so any issues can be resolved. We look forward to seeing you in our upcoming Zoom meeting! 

In the age of Coronavirus and court closures, we can no longer walk in and make payments in person. This page provides all the options for how to make a payment in lieu of walking into the Bremerton Municipal Court's Office. 

Option 1: Pay Online

 

The Bremerton Municipal Court is using a 3rd party service called NCourt to process payments. This system is simple to use and seems to be working smoothly. A small service fee applies. You need to have your case number ready to use this service. To use NCourts to make a payment, click on the link below and you will be linked to their payment site.

 

CLICK HERE

 

Option 2: Pay Over The Phone

 

Again, Bremerton Municipal is utilizing NCourts to process payments over the phone. A small service fee will apply. You will need your case number handy. Their number is:

 

(360) 813-9651

 

Option 3: Pay By Mail

 

To pay by mail, write a check to “Bremerton Municipal Court” and put you name and case number in the memo line of the check or money order. Then send the check to:

 

Bremerton Municipal Court

550 Park Avenue

Bremerton WA 98337

 

No service fee will be added when you pay by mail.

In our office, we field this question on a weekly basis. “If there was no violence, why am I charged with domestic violence.” For a hypothetical, assume these facts:


A guy is living as a temporary roommate with some guy friends. One day, their Nintendo goes missing. The other roommates do some investigation and believe the bad actor is the new guy. After they assemble their evidence, they call the police. After the police are involved, the prosecutor’s office charges the roommate with “Theft 3 – Domestic Violence.”


As you are reading this, most people will have the same question, “we understand the Theft Charge, but why D.V.?”


Special Allegation

 

First of all, Domestic Violence is not a charge. It is what is called a “Special Allegation” that is attached to an underlying charge. Anything can have a DV Special Allegation. If a person siphons gas out of an ex-girlfriend’s car, it would be Theft – DV. If a daughter spray paints her parent’s fence, it would be Malicious Mischief – DV. The DV Tag can be attached to nearly any underlying charge.


Why Can Every Charge Be D.V.?

 

The reason nearly every charge can have a DV tag is based upon a statute. Revised Code Of Washington (or RCW) 10.99.020 contains the definition of Domestic Violence. This is an excerpt from a charging document from Kitsap County.

 

DV Tag Cropped

 As you see, the definition captures nearly all relationship where people know each other. Here are some examples of how distant a relationship can be, yet they State can still add the special allegation.


“Adult persons … previously residing together.” Think of all the people who were your roommates in college.


“Persons sixteen years of age or older … with whom [they] had a dating relationship” Should it be DV if you dated someone when you were 17 and you are now in your 40’s?

 

Ramifications

 

The ramifications of this Special Allegation are enormous.


•  The No Contact Orders are more restrictive and have more teeth if you were to violate an Order.


•  Domestic Violence treatment could be suggested by the Prosecuting Attorney.


•  Courts will typically require a firearms prohibition.


•  The Special Allegation also drastically cuts into the options that are available to resolve your case.

 

Can You Challenge The D.V. Tag?

 

Yes, in certain circumstance you can challenge the Prosecutor’s addition of the Special Allegation. As listed above, there are many beneficial reasons to do so. While the definition above is broad, Prosecutors misapply the definition from time to time and the Courts will strike down the Special Allegation.


The Kitsap Prosecuting Attorneys have slightly more time on their hands. However, hands in a prosecutor’s office never go idle. It is normal for prosecutor’s offices to have a small backlog of uncharged (or unfiled) cases. This happens in nearly all offices, especially on types of cases that are deemed to be lower priority. Lower priority cases are typically Theft, Malicious Mischief, Hit and Run, etc. They are nuisance type cases rather than cases where there is a threat to the community. This is in contrast with higher priority cases such as DUI or any type of domestic violence.

So What Is Happening With The Backlog?


When a prosecutor’s office has a lower number of “high priority” or in-custody cases to deal with, their time will turn to “charging”- making a decision of whether or not a crime has been committed, and whether or not they believe they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Most offices will use this time, while the courts are essentially closed, to catch up on their charging duties.
Once a case is charged, the prosecutor’s office will send the casefile to the court clerk’s office. It is then put into the court’s database. The court clerk’s function is to set a court date and send out a summons to the last known address of the person who has been charged.

Why Is This Important?


We have dealt with many people in the Kitsap area over the years who had very minor altercations with the law, and then believed nothing had come of it. Six months or a year will go by and the person moves away. Such a long period of time had lapsed that they truly believe their contact with law enforcement amounted to nothing. Then, the prosecuting attorney gets around to reviewing and charging the case. A summons is sent to the last known address, the person does not receive the summons, Court is held, and an arrest warrant is issued.


How Does A Person Stay On Top Of This?

 

There are several proactive steps a person can do to ensure that they don’t get a warrant. First, the person must make sure that their address is correct with the Department of Licensing. This is the address that the Court will use to send a summons. Second, call a local defense attorney. An attorney can call the prosecutor’s office and determine if an investigative report has been submitted, and if so, they can determine where in the process the file is for charging. If the case is charged, they can alert the individual to ensure that they are aware of any future court dates.

Other Benefits Of Being “In Front Of” Your Case

 

Lots of these cases that are currently being reviewed for charges are deemed lower priority. That said, there are more favorable options for how to resolve such a case. On many occasions, we can have a negotiated resolution or even a dismissal ready to go at the Arraignment.


If You Have Received A Summons For Court, Give Us A Call!

 

These matters are important and we answer the phone for criminal questions 24 hours a day. We have heard from the Kitsap County District Court Clerks that summonses will be sent for dates starting in late May and June. If you receive a summons for Court, don’t delay or disregard. Better outcomes are possible when we are involved early on.

In the age of Coronavirus and court closures, we can no longer walk in and make payments in person. No one is currently allowed into the District Court’s Office. This page provides all the options for how to make a payment in lieu of walking into the District Court Clerk’s Office.


Option 1: Pay Online


The Kitsap County District Court is using a 3rd party service called NCourt to process payments. This system is simple to use and seems to be working smoothly. A small service fee applies. You need to have your case number ready to use this service. To use NCourts to make a payment, click on the link below and you will be linked to their payment site.


CLICK HERE


Option 2: Pay Over The Phone


Again, Kitsap District is utilizing NCourts to process payments over the phone. A small service fee will apply. You will need your case number handy. Their number is:


(844) 546-9370


Option 3: Pay By Mail


To pay by mail, write a check to “Kitsap County District Court” and put you name and case number in the memo line of the check or money order. Then send the check to:


Kitsap County District Court
Room 106
Port Orchard WA 98366

 

No service fee will be added when you pay by mail.