Sequim court still an option

A Clallam County District Court in Sequim might be preferable to a Sequim municipal court but the options need to be analyzed, City Attorney Craig Ritchie told the council at its Sept. 14 meeting.

The district court option might be less expensive because fewer traffic infractions are coming through the court, he said.

Ritchie said city staff would return at the Sept. 28 meeting with costs such as filing fees and other details.

If the city doesn't set up a municipal court in 2010, the next opportunity won't come until 2014 because of state law and contract requirements.

But Ritchie said the city could terminate its current district court contract now, then sign a one-year contract for 2010 and begin municipal court in 2011.

The city also could negotiate with the county for a district court in Sequim and reserve the municipal court option for 2011, he said.

One advantage to the county of a Sequim municipal court is county cases wouldn't be waiting in line behind

Sequim cases in the same court, Ritchie said.

In October 2008, the council voted to include $45,000 in the 2009 budget so a municipal court could begin Jan. 1, 2010.

Reach Brian Gawley at

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