Douglas K. Garrison
205 S Simcoe Ave
Wapato, WA 98951
(Clerks) Court Staff Can:
- Tell you the status of a specific case, unless the case or information in the case is confidential. Confidential information is not available to the public because of the state law or a judges’ decision.
- Provide the court file on a specific case for you to review. If the case is confidential, you will need a court order to see the file.
- Give you general information on court rules, procedures, and practices.
- Provide court-approved or required forms or tell you where you can find forms. There may be a charge for some forms. Forms are not available for all legal proceedings.
- Offer guidance on how to compute some deadlines and due dates.
- Provide court schedules and information on how to get matters scheduled.
- Provide the telephone number of the local attorney referral service or information about other agencies that may assist you.
(Clerks) Court staff does not know the answers to all questions about court rules, procedures, and practices
(Clerks) Court Staff Can Not:
- Advise you about whether you should file a case or whether you should take any particular action in a case.
- Tell you what words to put in a form.
- Tell you what to say in court.
- Tell you what decision the judge will make or what sentence the judge will impose.
- Comment about specific persons you may name in a petition or pleading.
- Apply the law nor give directions about how to respond in any aspect of the legal process.
- Change an order signed by a judge.
- Let you talk to a judge outside of court.
(Clerks) Court staff provides information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may wish to call the Lawyer Referral Program of the (Thurston) County Bar, at (Telephone#), for the name of an attorney practicing in this area.
The court, including the judge and all staff, must remain impartial. They do not take sides in any matter coming before the court.
General Court Info
If a warrant has been issued for failure to appear or failure to comply with a court order, you must appear in person at the Wapato Municipal court office.
Payments of restitution are a high priority issue with the court. The court makes every attempt to issue restitution checks to the parties involved in a timely manner.
Bond Exoneration: Bail Bonds are released by the court upon final disposition of your case; or, as otherwise directed by the Judge.
Bail Refunds: Bail refunds for Wapato Municipal Court are completed in the Accounting Section at the Wapato Municipal Court 205 S. Simcoe Ave. Wapato, WA. Cash bail posted will be applied to your court fine and obligations. Should there be a remaining balance of posted bail, a refund check will be mailed to the payer of said bail at the end of the accounting period.
Please call the Wapato Municipal Court (509) 877-6269 for specific or further questions regarding:
- a warrant on your case (with your ticket number available)
- bail bonds
- restitution payments
- payment methods (with your citation number available)
- criminal traffic citation
- unable to renew license or unpaid ticket
- Money Orders
- NO Personal Checks
- Currently unavailable to accept telephone payments
Time Payments: Wapato Municipal Court’s fine payment policy is: Time payments are granted only if you have appeared in court before a Judge or a Time Payment Agreement has been signed with Wapato Municipal Court upon final disposition. Monetary arrangements will be made with the Court Administrator as to the amount you are able to pay.
Delinquent Accounts: All delinquent accounts are assigned to and are handled by Evergreen Financial Services 1-800-444-6574 or 509-577-7170. They are located at 1214 North 16th Avenue, Yakima WA 98902.
If you have payment arrangements, are unable to make your scheduled payment on time, you must contact the collections section in person on or before the payment due date. If your account is current, but you need an extension of time to pay, you must contact Evergreen Financial Services with your request.
Unpaid: If you have been advised by the Department of Licensing that you will be unable to renew your license, or, if your license has been suspended because of an unpaid traffic infraction, you must pay the balance in full before the court will release the hold on your driver’s license. You must pay by money order, cashier’s check and /or cash. The court will not accept personal checks on unpaid traffic citations.
If you agree that you committed the violation, but would like to explain the circumstances to a Judge, check box number 2 on the compy of your ticket. This is called a mitigation hearing and is a hearing to explain the circumstances only – not to argue that you did not commit the violation.
Mail or deliver in person the signed copy to the court office within 15 days of the ticket issue date. Make sure that you have included your current mailing address on the white copy. The court will set the case and notify you of the hearing date by mail.
If you live outside of Yakima County and have received an infraction citation and wish to mitigate by mail attached is the Mitigation by Mail Form. This is for out of Yakima County Residence ONLY. Your request needs to be filled out in full with your explanation to be considered prior to the court date.
A deferred finding is when you want to defer your ticket for one year in order to keep the ticket off your driving record. If you do not have more than 5 moving violations in two years and you have not had a deferred in the past 7 years you may be eligible for this type of hearing. Bring a copy of your ticket to the court office and ask if your case qualifies for a deferred finding. A court date will be set and you will be given the opportunity to speak with the judge.
If a deferred is entered into a $150 (or face value of ticket whichever is less) administrative fee will be assessed, (non-refundable) you will be given a new court date one year from the time of judgment.
A records check will be conducted at the conclusion of one year. If you have no new violations in that one year period your case will be dismissed. If there are new violations in that one year your ticket will be found committed and you will owe the face value of the ticket.
If a person who has been cited with a violation of RCW 46.30.020 presents to the court clerk, evidence that the person had in effect at the time of the citation liability insurance as required by RWC 46.30.020, then upon payment of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) administrative costs, the case shall be dismissed and the court clerk shall be authorized to make an appropriate notation of the dismissal in the court file.
Failure to Appear
If you cannot appear for your infraction court date, you must submit a written request to the court to reschedule the hearing. All written requests must be postmarked on or before the hearing date.
If you do not reschedule in a timely manner, or, if the court denies your request, an additional penalty of $52.00 will be added to the original penalty on the ticket and the court will notify the Dept. of Licensing of your failure to appear. This will cause suspension of your driver’s license until you have paid the full amount due.
The court may also refer the ticket to a Collection Agency and you will be responsible to pay all collections fees in addition to all court-imposed penalties.
Criminal Traffic Citation
If you have received a criminal traffic or non-traffic ticket, you must appear in court. This is a Mandatory Court Appearance. The date to appear is written on the front of your ticket in the box marked Appearance Date on the month, day, year and time. If there’s not a date in the box please contact the court ASAP.
Your first appearance in court is called a Preliminary Arraignment. You will see your advice of rights by video, fill out the advice of rights form along with financial application to request a court-appointed attorney. A pre-trial status conference will be scheduled within 30 days and thereafter may proceed to a bench trial or a jury trial.
Failure to appear on this type of citation may result in an arrest warrant.
Unable to Renew License on Unpaid Ticket
If you have been advised by the Department of Licensing that you will be unable to renew your license, or if your license has been suspended because of the unpaid traffic infraction, you must pay the balance in full before the court will release the hold on your driver’s license.
You must pay by money order, cashier’s check and /or cash. The court will not accept personal checks on unpaid traffic citations.
If you believe that you did not commit the violation, check box number 3 on the copy of your ticket. Mail or deliver in person, the signed copy to the court office within 15 days of the ticket issue date. Make sure that you have included your current mailing address on the back of the green copy. The court will set the case and notify you of the hearing date by mail.
If you wish to subpoena the police officer or other witnesses to testify at your hearing, you must submit a written request with names and addresses to the court as soon as possible. The court will fill out the subpoena(s); however, as the requesting party in a civil infraction hearing, you ware required to provide service of the subpoena and to show proof of such service to the court. You must give at least a 7-day notice to your witnesses.