News

Court expands coverage to domestic violence, harassment victims

 

BY KIRK BOXLEITNER
kboxleitner@marysvilleglobe.com
ARLINGTON — Marysville Municipal Court Judge Lorrie Towers provided the Arlington City Council with an annual update May 27 on the state of the court that both cities share.
“This fall, the court will also begin providing temporary protection order hearings, for victims of domestic violence, and anti-harassment order hearings,” Towers said.
“Victims will no longer have to go to the county to get temporary orders,” she added. “They’ll be able to come to our court. We’ve set the hearings for times when our domestic violence victim advocate is available to assist victims in requesting those orders.”
While the court’s budget for 2013 was $1,673,133, its total expenditures for the year were only $1,633,629, leaving $39,000 that was returned to Marysville.
The Marysville Municipal Court operates with two judges, one court administrator, one assistant court administrator, one probation officer and six court clerks. It also houses Marysville’s domestic violence victim advocate, two court unit officers and one seasonal worker. The court heard 1,296 in-custody cases from the Snohomish County Jail via video hearings.
“These hearings result in cost savings and greater security for city personnel,” said Towers, who noted that the court heard more than 2,051 video hearings with its own jail in 2013. “This is a very efficient process, as it allows the court to conduct judicial proceedings without having to remove the defendant from the facility.”
Due to the Snohomish County Jail’s decision to limit the number of defendants it houses from municipalities, the court has experienced what Towers deemed “a dramatic increase” in the number of defendants heard through video court with the Marysville jail.
When Arlington City Council member Jan Schuette asked whether defendants could be housed at other jails, Towers said that, barring medical issues, its defendants must be housed at Marysville.
“With domestic violence cases, though, it’s mandatory that they be heard by the next day,” Towers said. “It’s actually required that they receive a hearing within 48 hours. But at our court, that usually happens no later than the next morning.”
Towers reported the court summoned more than 1,200 citizens for jury duty in 2013, with Marysville citizens amounting to about 720 of those jurors. The court heard seven jury trials, five of which were conducted by Marysville prosecutors. The court also heard more than 2,580 arraignments or first appearances, and held dispositions on more than 2,220 cases. The court staff manages sentence compliance reviews on more than 3,000 open cases, and heard 1,732  infraction hearings.
Towers also counted 293 individuals who required interpreter services in 2013, with Spanish interpreter services used in 83 percent of those cases.
The Marysville Municipal Court is continuing its partnerships with the cities of Arlington and Lake Stevens, as well as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the latter of which uses the court’s facilities twice a month for preliminary hearings. And for the fourth year in a row, the court hosted students from the 10th Street School and Archbishop Murphy in 2013, as they prepared for the YMCA’s Mock Trial competition.

 

 

 

 

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