Chapter 1.34
MUNICIPAL COURT1

Sections:

1.34.010    Established.

1.34.020    Violations bureau authorized.

1.34.030    Liability for costs incurred in municipal court.

1.34.040    Witness and jury fee revolving fund.

1.34.050    Court rules.

1.34.060    Fees and costs.

1.34.070    Payment of fines – Deferred – Inability to pay.

1.34.080    Suspended or deferred sentences – Duration.

1.34.090    Payment of fines – Default.

1.34.100    Alternatives to total confinement.

1.34.010 Established.

The municipal court of the city is established under the authority of Chapter 3.50 RCW (Chapter 258, Laws of 1984) and shall have jurisdiction and shall exercise all powers vested in the municipal court by ordinance, together with such other powers and jurisdiction as are generally conferred upon municipal courts in the state of Washington either by common law, court rule, or statute. The judge of the municipal court shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.020 Violations bureau authorized.

The municipal court of the city is authorized to establish a violations bureau to assist the court in the processing of traffic cases. The violations bureau is vested with all authority express or implied in the statutes of the state for such bureaus. Personnel and procedure of the violations bureau shall be under the control of the judge of the municipal court. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.030 Liability for costs incurred in municipal court.

Whenever the city shall be liable for the payment of costs in any criminal action or proceeding in municipal or superior court, a cost bill shall be prepared and certified by the officers hereinafter mentioned, specifying the different items of cost for which the city is liable; and where witness or jury fees are included in such cost bill the name, address, per diem and mileage of each witness or juror shall be specified. In all criminal cases in the municipal court, cost bills shall be prepared and certified to by the municipal court judge. In all such criminal cases in the superior court, brought there on appeal from the municipal court, the cost bill showing all costs for which the city shall be liable shall be reviewed by the city’s attorney. It shall be the duty of the city to issue to the several parties, jurors and witnesses, shown by said cost bill to be entitled thereto, their respective costs and fees to which such cost bill shows them to be entitled. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.040 Witness and jury fee revolving fund.

There is created a revolving fund in the amount of five hundred dollars to be used solely for the purpose of paying witness fees and jury fees in the municipal court. The revolving fund will be maintained in a bank as a checking account and payments to jurors and witnesses shall be by check from the account. The fund will be replenished by a warrant which must be supported by a cost bill as provided in Section 1.34.030. This fund shall be maintained by the municipal court. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.050 Court rules.

The municipal court may prescribe such rules as it may deem appropriate for the operation of its court; provided, that such rules are not inconsistent with the ordinances of the city, laws of the state or court rules adopted by the Supreme Court. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.060 Fees and costs.

Upon conviction or a plea of guilty, a defendant in a criminal case shall be liable for such costs, including repayment of court-appointed attorney fees, as are imposed by the court, to the same extent as would a person convicted in a district court of this state.

(1) Costs shall be limited to expenses specially incurred by the city in prosecuting the defendant, including witness costs and fees.

(2) The court shall not sentence a defendant to pay costs unless a defendant is or will be able to pay them. In determining the amount and method of payment of costs the court shall take account of the financial resources of the defendant and the nature of the burden that payment of costs will impose.

(3) A defendant who has been sentenced to pay costs who is not in contumacious default in the payment thereof may at any time petition the court for remission of the payment of costs or any unpaid portion thereof. If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the payment of the amount due will impose manifest hardship upon the defendant or his immediate family, the court may remit all or a part of the amount due in costs, or modify the schedule of payment.

(4) In setting costs for the repayment of court-appointed attorney fees, the court may assess the actual costs incurred or may establish a schedule of repayment for various types of services. In any case the court may require repayment of all or a portion of the attorney fees in accordance with this section.

Unless otherwise directed by the court, in any case where fees or costs are imposed, such fees and costs shall be charged against the first moneys paid by the defendant into the registry of the court. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.070 Payment of fines – Deferred – Inability to pay.

Upon sentencing, all costs and fines imposed by the court shall be immediately due and payable unless the court, in its sole discretion, shall grant the defendant permission to defer payment to a later date or to make payments over a period of time; provided, however, that if the defendant fails to make any payment as scheduled the entire amount shall be immediately due and payable.

If a defendant who is granted deferred or time payment of costs and fines is unable to make any payment when due, the defendant shall appear in person before the court on or before the date when the payment is due and state the reasons for his or her inability to make payment. The court shall inquire into the inability of the defendant to make payment. For good cause shown by the defendant, the court may conditionally or unconditionally amend the payment schedule. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.080 Suspended or deferred sentences – Duration.

The duration of any deferred or suspended sentence for any violation of the criminal ordinances of the city shall be for a period of two years from the date of conviction unless the court, in its discretion, shall set a shorter period of time. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.090 Payment of fines – Default.

(1) When a defendant sentenced to pay a fine or costs defaults in the payment thereof or of any installment, the court, on the motion of the city’s attorney or upon its own motion, may require the defendant to show cause why his or her default should not be treated as contempt of court, and may issue a summons to the defendant or a warrant of arrest.

(2) Unless the defendant shows that the default was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the order of the court or a failure on the defendant’s part to make a good-faith effort to make the payment, the court may find that the defendant’s default constitutes contempt and may order the defendant committed until the fine or costs or a specified part thereof, is paid.

(3) When a fine or assessment of costs is imposed upon a corporation or unincorporated association, it is the duty of the person authorized to make disbursement from the assets of the corporation or association to pay the fine or costs from those assets, and his or her failure to do so may be held to be contempt unless the showing required in subsection (2) of this section is made.

(4) The term of imprisonment for contempt for nonpayment of a fine or costs shall be set forth in the commitment order and shall not exceed one day for each twenty-five dollars of the fine or costs, or thirty days, whichever is the shorter period; provided, credit of thirty-five dollars per day shall be granted to working trusties. A person committed for nonpayment of a fine or costs shall be given credit toward the payment for each day of imprisonment at the rate specified in the commitment order. The court shall have discretion to order, in lieu of jail commitment, the defendant to perform community service. The defendant shall receive twenty-five dollars credit for each eight hours of community service performed.

(5) If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the default in the payment of a fine or costs is not contempt, the court may enter an order allowing the defendant additional time for payment, reducing the amount thereof or of each installment or revoking the fine or costs of the unpaid portion thereof in whole or in part.

(6) A default in the payment of a fine or costs or any installment thereof may be collected by any means authorized by law for the enforcement of a judgment. The levy of execution for the collection of fines or costs shall not discharge a defendant committed to imprisonment for contempt until the amount of the fine or costs has actually been collected. (Ord. 84-18 § 1, 1984).

1.34.100 Alternatives to total confinement.

Upon application by a defendant who has been convicted and sentenced to a term in jail the court may consider alternatives to total confinement for any portion of the jail sentence which the laws of the state of Washington and city of Hoquiam allow to be suspended or deferred.

These alternatives include the following sentence conditions that the court may order as substitutes for total confinement in jail: (1) eight hours of community service work may be substituted for one day of total confinement; (2) one day of partial confinement in jail may be substituted for one day of total confinement if the defendant is employed and at his place of employment while released from jail.

The alternatives set forth in this section may be granted, denied, revoked or modified by the court in its discretion with or without cause. (Ord. 86-36 § 1, 1986).


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Prior legislation: Ord. 2626.