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District Court consolidates, restructures services in South King County; newly remodeled court area at MRJC opens Monday
King County District Court is preparing to move into newly remodeled space at the Maleng Regional Justice Center (MRJC) in Kent.
Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on five new courtrooms this week. These courtrooms, along with an expanded court clerk's office, will allow District Court to achieve a long-term goal of consolidating services in Kent.
The new courtrooms and clerk's office will open for business on Sept. 9.
"We've improved access to justice for our residents by co-locating our operation with other agencies at the Maleng Regional Justice Center," said District Court Presiding Judge Corinna Harn. "Along with District Court, residents will be able to access services from Superior Court, the King County Prosecutor, and the public defender."
"I'm pleased to see the District Court's long-term vision finally realized," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "This all started with the sale of the Aukeen Courthouse to the City of Kent a couple of years ago. That allowed Kent to avoid a costly and unnecessary construction project, and allowed King County to better serve our customers by consolidating several vital justice-related services in a single location."
zDistrict Court will use the new space at the MRJC to address criminal and civil matters filed with the court, including misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases, anti-harassment orders, domestic violence protection orders, name changes, felony and misdemeanor preliminary hearings, and search warrants.
To accommodate the District Court move to Kent, the King County Sheriff's Office moved its Criminal Investigation Division to downtown Seattle. The Justice Center will continue to house the King County Law Library, Superior Court's Jon and Bobbe Bridge Child Care Center, a King County Community Service Center, family law facilitators, and Housing and Justice Project clinics.
As part of the plan to open the new courtrooms at the MRJC, the temporary King County District Court location in Renton will close on Sept. 6. Cases currently assigned to that location will move to the Burien Courthouse, located at 601 SW 149th St.
The Burien location also will continue to hear all City of Burien cases, as well as civil litigation matters up to $75,000, small claims matters up to $5,000, vehicle tow and impound hearings, anti-harassment orders, domestic violence protection orders, name changes, infractions (traffic, non-traffic, and parking), garnishments and other supplemental proceedings, lien foreclosures, and forfeiture hearings.
Free garage parking is available at the Justice Center, but the District Court consolidation is expected to increase demand for space. Visitors and jurors are instead encouraged to park at the ShoWare Center, just north of the MRJC across James Street. A total of 450 stalls has been set aside at the ShoWare Center for the public to use during daytime hours. For those who need ADA accessible parking, garage and surface spaces are available on the Justice Center campus.
King County is working with the City of Kent to install signs directing visitors and jurors to the various parking options in the area. There are also several public transportation routes convenient for MRJC visitors. Go to metro.kingcounty.gov for a trip planner.
A public open house showcasing the remodeled facilities at the Maleng Regional Justice Center is planned for later this fall. For more information about District Court services, visit www.kingcounty.gov/courts/DistrictCourt.aspx or call 206-205-9200 or toll-free 1-800-325-6165 extension 59200.