Kirkland Community Court

Community courts seek to respond to crime through a combined strategy of holding offenders accountable and offering to help participants with a range of social needs. Community Court is a non-traditional approach that works to provide practical, targeted solutions rather than traditional punishment. The Kirkland Community Court kicks off March 10, 2021. Working together with community partners specializing in housing services, education, employment, chemical dependency, health care, mental health services, veterans’ services and more, the Kirkland Community Court offers individuals a hand-up, with the goal of restoring the person and community.

 

Mission

 Mission

Community Court, an innovative program of the Kirkland Municipal Court, promotes public safety and improves the quality of lives.  Like Mental Health Courts and Drug Courts across the nation, Community Courts are problem-solving courts that blend accountability and compassion.  These courts move beyond incarceration and other punitive actions to promote safety.  So, how is this done?  They identify and address the underlying quality of life issues that can contribute to the on-going criminal behavior of defendants who commit low level misdemeanor offenses.

Often, individuals who commit misdemeanor crimes are dealing with life challenges such as poverty, addiction, mental illness, limited job skills, inadequate education, and homelessness. Without assistance to surmount these conditions by developing skills, recovering from an illness, and/or stabilizing their living situation, they are very likely to continue to commit crimes and revolve in and out of jail. 

Community Courts, in partnership with Community Resource Centers, help individuals who want to improve their lives and get the assistance they need.  Instead of receiving a fine or incarceration, they contract with the Kirkland Municipal Court to comply with a service plan that helps them resolve some of their critical life challenges.  For example, the service plan may require a mental health assessment and starting treatment, getting a GED and exploring employment training programs, getting health insurance, and/or finding safe housing they can afford. If the court participants comply with the terms of the contract, including the service plan, then their case is dismissed with prejudice. And… they have a chance to begin living their lives anew.

 

 

 

 

General Eligibility

General Eligibility 

Community Court cases are identified at filing by the City Prosecuting Attorney and communicated with the defense counsel. The defense counsel can also request for a case to be considered for Community Court at Arraignment. 

Participants who are eligible for Community Court are those charged with low level offenses.  They cannot have any violent felony convictions within the last 5 years, pending violent felony charges or a sex offender history.  

 

 

 

 

 

Pathway to Success

Pathway to Success

For eligible participants, Arraignment will continue to happen in mainstream court via Zoom.  The defense counsel will explain the Community Court model to the participant and the matter will be set over for a Community Court Hearing.

1st hearing in Community Court will be heard online via Zoom.  It is coded as a courtesy hearing.  The defense counsel will speak with the defendant and see if they are interested in setting up an assessment, which will then need to be completed before proceeding to the 2nd hearing.

2nd hearing will be an opt-in/opt-out where a Stipulated Order of Continuance (SOC), a contract between the participant and the City of Kirkland is signed. This hearing will also be held online via Zoom.

The Community Court operates every Wednesday, except Holidays, between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

Courtroom 3 Community Court Zoom Instructions

Go to: https://zoom.us/join 

To download desktop software or mobile apps, go to: https://zoom.us/download 

Join Courtroom 3 hearing by typing the: 

Meeting ID:  480 418 6728

Password:     255141 

To appear by video, you will need to have an electronic device with internet connection. You may use a smart phone, iPad/tablet or computer with a microphone, speaker and optional webcam. You will also need to install the free ZOOM App before the conference begins, following the instructions on page 2. 

To join the ZOOM hearing by

Phone/Audio only: 

Dial: (888) 475-4499 US Toll-free or

        (877) 853-5257 US Toll-free 

Join Courtroom 3 hearing by following the voice prompts: 

Meeting ID:  480 418 6728

Password:     255141 

You will be joined to the hearing in a muted mode.  

Tips for Participating in the ZOOM Virtual Courtroom:

To mute or unmute hit (star) *6.

To raise virtual hand, hit *9

When you join the virtual courtroom, you may be in a “waiting room” until the court clerk opens the meeting. Do not announce yourself, the clerk will obtain names of those in attendance. There may be several cases set on the docket at the same time.

•             If calling in, call from a phone with a good connection.

•             If you are represented by an attorney, talk to your attorney before the hearing date to discuss your case.

•             You should remain in a muted status until your case is called to reduce background noise. When your case is called, unmute your device. The Judge will ask you to identify yourself, speak loudly and clearly.

•             Follow directions from the Judge when it is your turn to speak.

•             Hearings will be recorded using the court recording system.

•             You may leave the ZOOM virtual hearing after your case has been resolved.

Additional instructions may be given to you by the Court or your Attorney during the hearing.

 

 

 

Collaborating with the Community Resource Center

Community Resource Center 

A key to the success for Community Court participants would be the Court’s partnership with the Community Resource Center.  This Resource Center provides remote access (via Zoom and phone) to free social services that can help individuals and families who want assistance to resolve emergencies or normal day-to-day challenges.  These services relate to: 

  • healthcare and insurance,
  • education, job training and employment
  • treatment for mental health issues and substance use disorders
  • assistance with dealing with housing instability and food insecurity
  • legal assistance and mediation to address civil disputes with landlords, neighbors, employers and more, and
  • library services, transportation, and other public benefits 

The Resource Center is open to the public every Wednesday, except holidays, between 2 – 4 p.m. Volunteer navigators are available to connect people to the services they need.   The service providers include these Agencies

How do I get to the Virtual Resource Center?

For Video Access
If you have internet access and a smart phone or computer that has a speaker and camera, you can visit the VRC during the above scheduled hours via Zoom by logging in at:

https://zoom.us/j/9306833892?pwd=Lzl3WHo1cFhyS3A1ZWtrVVBFWUV2Zz09
Meeting ID: 930 683 3892
Password: 459890

You do not need to have Zoom on your own computer or device to access the VRC.  You may also call one of the following phone numbers during the above scheduled hours: