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Local Court Rules

RMCLR 1.7. ADOPTION OF LOCAL RULES
These rules are adopted pursuant to CrRLJ 1.7.
[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLR 1.8. TITLE OF RULES
These rules are may be known as Renton Municipal Court Local Rules, and shall be referred to as RMCLR.
[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLR 1.9. GENERAL RULES

  1. Court Hours. The Renton Municipal Court shall be in session on all judicial days from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For schedule of hearing types see Find my Court Date then follow the links to Renton Municipal Court hearings.
  2. Court Clerk's Office. The Renton Municipal Court Clerk's Office shall be open on all judicial days 8:30 a.m., to 5:00 p.m.
  3. Temporary Orders for Protection. Motions for a Temporary Order For Protection may be filed;on judicial days from 8:30 a.m., until 3:00 p.m.
  4. Forms: For a complete list of forms available from the court, please see www.rentonwa.gov/court.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001; Amended Effective September 1, 2002; Amended Effective September 1, 2007; Amended Effective September 1, 2011; Amended Effective September 1, 2013; Amended Effective September 1, 2014]

RMCLR 3.1 RIGHT TO A LAWYER

  1. The right to a lawyer shall extend to all criminal proceedings for offenses punishable by loss of liberty.
  2. Unless waived, a lawyer shall be provided to any person who is financially unable to obtain one without causing substantial hardship to the person or to the person's family. A lawyer shall not be denied to any person merely because his or her friends or relatives have resources adequate to retain a lawyer or because he or she has posted or is capable of posting bond.
  3. The ability to pay part of the cost of a lawyer shall not preclude assignment. The assignment of a lawyer may be conditioned upon part payment pursuant to an established method of collection.
  4. The court, upon motion of a defendant, shall screen said defendant for the purposes of determining whether the defendant is indigent. The court may consider any factors regarding indigency it deems appropriate. The court may require proof of income at its discretion.
  5. A defendant may waive their right to be represented by an attorney. The court shall require all defendants entering a plea of guilty in the absence of an attorney to complete a Renton Municipal Court Waiver of Right to Attorney form. The court shall enter findings regarding whether the defendant made a knowing and voluntary waiver of an attorney before accepting a guilty plea or setting a case for trial.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLR 3.1.1 WITHDRAWAL OF ATTORNEY

Pursuant to CrRLJ 3.1(e), no attorney may withdraw except upon consent of the court for good cause shown when a case has been set for trial. The motion shall be made in open court with notice to interested parties. Except in cases where withdrawal is mandated by the Rules of Professional Conduct, the court should not permit withdrawal unless there is simultaneous substitution of a lawyer who is prepared to proceed on the scheduled trial date. A substitution of counsel not mandated by the Rules of Professional Conduct which is accompanied by a motion to continue the trial date should only be granted upon actual payment of terms and/or costs.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLR 3.2 BAIL

When required to reasonably assure appearance in court for those persons arrested and detained in jail for new offenses, bail shall be set in accordance with a schedule approved by the presiding judge and available from the Court Administrator. Bail shall not be set for an accused arrested for new offenses involving domestic violence (Assault Fourth Degree, Violation of a No Contact Order, Violation of a Protection Order) or alcohol related driving offenses (Driving Under the Influence, Physical Control, Minor Operating Motor Vehicle after Alcohol Consumption). Persons held in custody accused of domestic violence or alcohol related driving offenses shall personally appear before a judge the next judicial day following booking into jail.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2006; Amended Effective September 1, 2013]

RMCLR 3.3 VIDEO CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

  1. Authorization. Preliminary appearances held pursuant to CrRLJ 3.2.1(d), arraignments held pursuant to CrRLJ 3.4 and 4.1, bail hearings held pursuant to CrRLJ 3.2, and trial settings held pursuant to CrRLJ 3.3(f), may be conducted by video conference in which all participants can simultaneously see, hear and speak with each other. Such proceedings shall be deemed held in open court and in the defendant's presence for the purpose of any statute, court rule or policy. All video conference hearings conducted pursuant to this rule shall be public, and the public shall be able to simultaneously see and hear all participants and speak as permitted by the Renton Municipal Court judge, judge pro-tem or court commissioner. Any party may request an in-person hearing which may be granted at the discretion of the Municipal Court judge, judge pro-tem or court commissioner.
  2. Agreement. Other trial court proceedings, including the entry of a Statement of Defendant on Plea of Guilty as provided for by CrRLJ 4.2, may be conducted by video conference only by agreement of the parties, either in writing or on the record, and upon the approval of the Renton Municipal Court judge, judge-pro tem or court commissioner.
  3. Standards for Video Conference Proceedings. The standards for video conference proceedings shall be as specified in CrRLJ 3.4(d)(3).

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2011]

RMCLR 4.1. APPEARANCE AND PLEADINGS BY ATTORNEYS

  1. Pursuant to CrRLJ 4.1, except in cases involving domestic violence or alcohol related driving crimes, an attorney may enter an appearance and/or plea of not guilty on behalf of an accused in any criminal or traffic offense if said appearance or plea is made in writing or made in open court on the record. Appearance must be accompanied by an acknowledgement by defendant that they have been advised of their rights as a person accused of a crime.
  2. A defendant must personally appear in court in cases involving domestic violence (Assault Fourth Degree, Violation of a No Contact Order, Violation of a Protection Order).
  3. A defendant must personally appear in court for arraignment in cases where the crime charged is Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs or Physical Control.
  4. Unless previously commenced by an appearance made in open court, a written appearance shall commence the running of the time periods established in CrRLJ 3.3 from the date of receipt by the court. A written appearance waiving an arraignment, but without a plea, shall be considered a plea of not guilty, made in writing or in open court, and obviates the need for further arraignment and waives any defects in the complaint other than failure to state a crime.
  5. Telephonic requests or notice by defendant or defense counsel shall not constitute an arraignment, appearance or plea, and shall not commence the time periods under CrRLJ 3.3.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001; Amended Effective September 1, 2013]

RMCLR 4.2 OFF-RECORD CONTINUANCES

The court may continue cases at the pre-trial hearing off the record at its discretion.  Motions to continue cases where a prior continuation of the pre-trial hearing was approved shall be supported by a written statement.

[Adopted Effective September 1,2001; Amended Effective September 1, 2013]

RMCLR 4.5 PETITIONS FOR DEFERRED PROSECUTION

Petitions for deferred prosecution pursuant to RCW 10.05 shall be submitted no later than seven days prior to the date of any pre trial hearing. Copies shall be served on the City of Renton Prosecuting Attorney and the court. All petitions shall be in strict compliance with the requirements of RCW 10.05. Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order shall be submitted on Renton Municipal Court form Order Granting Deferred Prosecution.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001; Amended Effective September 1, 2014]

RMCLR 6.13 EVIDENCE

  1. Rules of Evidence. The rules of evidence are applicable to criminal prosecutions.
  2. Rules of Evidence-Infractions. The rules of evidence and statutes that relate to evidence in infraction cases shall apply to      contested hearings. The court may consider the notice of infraction and any other written report made under oath submitted by the officer who issued the notice or whose written statement was the basis for the issuance of the notice in lieu of the officer's personal appearance at the hearing, unless the defendant has caused the officer to be served with a subpoena to appear.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001; Amended Effective September 1, 2014]

RMCLR 7.2 SENTENCING

The court shall follow the provisions of CrRLJ 7.2 on Sentencing.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLR 7.3 RECALL OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NO CONTACT ORDERS

The court shall follow the provisions of CrRLJ 7.3 on Recall of Domestic Violence No Contact Orders.

The calendar is conducted on a walk-in basis.  The alleged victim may come to the court on any Thursday morning and petition the court for a hearing.

Upon arrival the alleged victim is provided with a form that memorializes their request to have the order recalled.  Once the form is completed the alleged victim is directed into the courtroom.  The clerk prepares a calendar along with a standarized form/order for the judge's decision.  Once the documents are prepared, the judge evaluates the request in chambers and makes a decision whether to grant or deny the motion.  The judge then goes into court and on the record informs the petitioner of his or her decision.

At the start of the calendar the judge informs the petitioner of the following: 

  1. There must be a written motion.  Since the alleged victim is not a party to the action, the motion is the mechanism to get on the calendar.  The petitioner is informed that the judge does not read the motion as it may contain facts of the case before the court and since the petitioner is a potential witness it would not be appropriate for the judge to read if the case is in a pre-trial status.
  2. The judge reviews the defendant's case history to determine whether there have been any allegations of a violation of the order or acts of violence since the order was entered.  The judge also considers the defendant's criminal history as a whole to determine whether based on that history the judge has concerns  that if the order were to be recalled there is a potential for a breach of peace or violence against the petitioner. 
  3. Two weeks must have elapsed since the entry of the order was entered.

A petitioner is also informed that the judge's decision is final and that the judge will not entertain any discussion regarding the case.

Before the order is recalled the petitioner is asked by the court on the record whether they have been coerced or compelled in any way to move the court to recall the order.  The petitioner is informed that they will no longer enjoy the protection of the court once the order is recalled.

Finally, the petitioner is informed that if they find they are in need of the protection of the court they may return to the court and file a petition of a civil protection order at no cost to them, or in the alternative contact the prosecutor and ask for a motion to re-enter the no-contact order.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2014]

 


LOCAL INFRACTION RULES

 

RMCLIR 1.0 MITIGATION HEARINGS

A defendant charged with an infraction who requests a hearing to explain mitigating circumstances, IRLJ 2.4, RCW 46.63.070, shall appear before a magistrate. The magistrate's determination shall be final, and is not subject to review before a judge.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLIR 1.1 SUBPOENAS

A defendant who requests a hearing to contest the determination that an infraction was committed may file upon the court a written demand that the court subpoena the officer who issued the Notice of Infraction, or whose written statement was the basis for the issuance of the notice if the demand is filed with the court at least 14 days prior to the first setting of the contested hearing. A defendant is responsible for obtaining and serving subpoenas in accordance with IRLJ 3.1 in all other circumstances.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLIR 1.2 MOTIONS

All motions, except those motions pursuant to IRLJ 2.2(d), shall be filed with the court and served on all interested parties no later than 14 days prior to the date of the Contested Hearing. Failure to comply with this rule shall constitute a waiver of the motion.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLIR 1.3 OBJECTION TO HEARING DATE

A defendant who objects to the hearing date set by the court pursuant to IRLJ 2.6 shall file with the court and serve upon the City Attorney a written motion for a speedy hearing date. Such motion shall be filed and served no later than 10 days from the date of written notice of the contested hearing date. Failure to comply with this rule shall constitute a waiver of the objection.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001]

RMCLIR 1.4

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001; Rescinded Effective September 1, 2011]

RMCLIR 1.5 DECISIONS ON WRITTEN STATEMENTS

 Mitigation and contested hearings based on written statements, given under penalty of perjury as provided for in IRLJ 2.4(b)(4) and IRLJ 2.6(c) are authorized.  The procedures authorized by IRLJ 3.5 are adopted by this court.  To be considered, the written statement(s) must be received by the court pursuant to written instructions provided to the defendant.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2007; Rescinded Effective September 1, 2013; Adopted Effective September 1, 2014]

RMCLIR 1.6 REQUEST FOR SPEED MEASURING DEVICE EXPERT

 Request for Speed Measuring Device.  The court shall follow the provisions of CrRLJ 6.13(d) concerning the request for a speed measuring device (SMD) expert, except that a request for a SMD expert shall be in writing and must be received by the court clerk at least seven court days prior to the original trial or hearing date.

[Adopted Effective September 1, 2001; Amended Effective September 1, 2014]