Courts Washington


As provided in the constitution 'the judicial power of the state shall be vested in a Supreme Court, Superior Courts, justices of the peace, and such inferior courts as the legislature may provide.' The Judiciary of Washington follows the a three level hierarchy as follows:
  1. Supreme Court as the highest court of the State
  2. District Court
  3. Superior Court
However there are municipal Courts are also been established in the Municipal Town.


The supreme court shall have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, and quo warranto and mandamus as to all state officers. The supreme court shall also have power to issue writs of mandamus, review, prohibition, habeas corpus, certiorari and all other writs necessary and proper to the complete exercise of its appellate and revisory jurisdiction.

Each of the judges shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the state upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself, or before the supreme court, or before any superior court of the state or any judge thereof.


Civil jurisdiction

If the value of the claim or the amount at issue does not exceed fifty thousand dollars, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorneys' fees, the district court shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of the following civil actions and proceedings:
  1. Actions arising on contract for the recovery of money;
  2. Actions for damages for injuries to the person, or for taking or detaining personal property, or for injuring personal property, or for an injury to real property when no issue raised by the answer involves the plaintiff's title to or possession of the same and actions to recover the possession of personal property;
  3. Actions for a penalty;
  4. Actions upon a bond conditioned for the payment of money, when the amount claimed does not exceed fifty thousand dollars, though the penalty of the bond exceeds that sum, the judgment to be given for the sum actually due, not exceeding the amount claimed in the complaint;
  5. Actions on an undertaking or surety bond taken by the court;
  6. Actions for damages for fraud in the sale, purchase, or exchange of personal property;
  7. Proceedings to take and enter judgment on confession of a defendant;
  8. Proceedings to issue writs of attachment, garnishment and replevin upon goods, chattels, moneys, and effects;
  9. All other actions and proceedings of which jurisdiction is specially conferred by statute, when the title to, or right of possession of real property is not involved; and


The district court shall have jurisdiction:

  1. Concurrent with the superior court of all misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors committed in their respective counties and of all violations of city ordinances. It shall in no event impose a greater punishment than a fine of five thousand dollars, or imprisonment for one year in the county or city jail as the case may be, or both such fine and imprisonment, unless otherwise expressly provided by statute. It may suspend and revoke vehicle operators' licenses in the cases provided by law;
  2. to sit as a committing magistrate and conduct preliminary hearings in cases provided by law;
  3. concurrent with the superior court of a proceeding to keep the peace in their respective counties;
  4. concurrent with the superior court of all violations fish and wildlife;
  5. O hear and determine traffic infractions; and
  6. to take recognizance, approve bail, and arraign defendants held within its jurisdiction on warrants issued by other courts of limited jurisdiction.


Original jurisdiction

The superior court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases
  1. in equity, and in all cases at law which involve the title or possession of real property, or
  2. the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll or municipal fine, and in all other cases in which the demand or the value of the property in controversy amounts to three hundred dollars, and
  3. in all criminal cases amounting to felony, and
  4. in all cases of misdemeanor not otherwise provided for by law;
  5. of actions of forcible entry and detainer;
  6. of proceedings in insolvency;
  7. of actions to prevent or abate a nuisance;
  8. of all matters of probate,
  9. of divorce and for annulment of marriage, and
  10. for such special cases and proceedings as are not otherwise provided for;

The superior courts and their judges shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, quo warranto, review, certiorari, prohibition and writs of habeas corpus on petition by or on behalf of any person in actual custody in their respective counties. Injunctions and writs of prohibition and of habeas corpus may be issued on legal holidays and nonjudicial days.