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King County District Court - Seattle

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King County Courthouse in Downtown Seattle

King County District Court - Seattle is known as the "West Division," and is located in the King County Courthouse downtown at 3rd and James.  The building actually takes up the entire block between 3rd and 4th Avenue and James and Yesler Streets.

Washington State DUIs that occur in King County will be filed in the Seattle or West Division depending upon where the arresting officer typically reports for court hearings.  Along with DUIs, assaults, domestic violence, drugs, and any other misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor will be filed in the district court.

The Seattle and Shoreline facilities of King County District Court comprise the administrative West Division.  The Seattle Facility is located on the third floor of the King County Courthouse located at 516 3rd Avenue (on the corner of 3rd and James) in downtown Seattle. The boundaries for judicial appointment of the Seattle facility are identical to the City of Seattle's. The Seattle District Court has five judicial positions. Currently the Seattle Facility judges are: Judge Arthur Chapman, Division Presiding Judge; Judge Mark Chow;  Judge Marcine Anderson; and Judge Eileen Kato.

As a Court of Limited Jurisdiction, the Seattle Division is responsible for processing more than 20,000 misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, infraction, civil, lien foreclosures, small claims, vehicle tow, false security alarm, name change, anti-harassment and domestic violence protection order cases a year.

Judge Marcine Anderson

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Judge Marcine Anderson

On February 22, 2010 Marcine Anderson was unanimously appointed by the King County Council to the King County District Court.  When she was sworn in on March 12, 2010 Judge Anderson became the first woman and the first Asian American to serve as a district court judge at the Shoreline District Court.  This appointment continued Judge Anderson’s record of service to the public.

Beginning in 1995, Marcine Anderson was a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the Civil Division of the King County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.  Her practice covered many aspects of technology law, including software licensing, cable television regulation and telecommunications.  Prior to joining the King County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Judge Anderson was a criminal misdemeanor prosecutor for a number of local cities, including Burien, Woodinville, Issaquah, Lake Stevens, Bothell and Redmond.  Judge Anderson also worked for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston, Massachusetts, clerked for the Hon. Joyce London Alexander, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge for the District of Massachusetts and was the recipient of the Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship which allowed her to work at the Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

On September 16, 2004, Marcine Anderson was sworn in as the first Asian American member of the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association in its then 115 year history.  She currently serves as an Advisory Board member of the Washington State Bar Association’s award winning Leadership Institute.  She has served on a number of bar committees and on the board of the Washington State Bar Foundation.Ms. Anderson received her J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law and her B.A. and a Certificate in Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon.

Judge Arthur Chapman

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Judge Arthur Chapman

Judge Art Chapman has served the citizens of King County for the last ten years.  He was first appointed to the Seattle Municipal Court in 2000, then elected to the King County District Court in 2002, and re-elected in 2006.  Fellow judges elected Judge Chapman recently to be the Presiding Judge of the West Division of the King County District Court.  In that position, he also serves on the court’s Executive Committee.

Previously, Judge Chapman served for five years as the Mental Health Court judge, and is devoted to the therapeutic courts.

Judge Chapman graduated from law school with honors and joined the bar in 1983.  His resume includes 5 years as a criminal prosecutor for King County, 9 years of civil practice in Seattle, and 2 years as a Federal law clerk.  Numerous bar associations rated him “exceptionally well qualified” for this position in 2002.

Judge Mark Chow

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Judge Mark Chow

Judge Chow was involved in pioneering the King County Mental Health Court. This dynamic voluntary Court is one of the leading such Courts in the United States. As an alternative to “sitting in Jail” the Court’s goal is: 1. Community Safety; 2. Service System Integration; 3. Reduction of Criminalization of the Mentally Ill.     The Court has been highly successful and dramatically reduced recidivism.  Through efficiency, while maintaining therapeutic aspects, the caseload handled by Mental Health Court has more than doubled since its inception.

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Ruling by Three Judge Panel Excluding Breath Tests

Judge Chow was one of three judges that sat on a panel and decided the matter resulting in the suppression of thousands of breath test cases in Washington State.  He diligently and patiently sat through weeks of expert testimony and co-authored a decision which touched the core of forensic science, or the lack of it, at the the Washington State Toxicology Lab.  The Lab manager and State Toxicologist resigned after the ruling in shame.  Read his decision above.

Judge Chow has served five years State Judicial Education Committee; Two terms Seattle Division Presiding Judge; Seven years Mental Health Court Presiding Judge.     Judge Chow was a participant in a Domestic Violence Summit; Regional Education Program; Juvenile Justice Roundtable; Trial Court Coordination Council.     Judge Chow has been a Presenter/Speaker for the State Judicial College; Dispute Resolution Training Workshops; State Judicial Conferences; Franklin High School Law Program.     He also is involved in Urban 4-H Club of America; Senior Citizen Annual Dinner; Coach for Inner-City School.

Judge Eileen Kato

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Judge Eileen Kato

Eileen Kato was appointed to the King County District Court in 1994.  She is an active participant on national and state judicial organizations, having served on the Washington State Board for Judicial Administration, President of the District & Municipal Court Judges’ Association, Faculty Member of the National Judicial College, Board Member for the National Center for State Courts, Chair of the American Bar Association Judicial Division Conference of Specialized Court Judges, and President of the Judicial Council of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

She continues to be active in our community as a board member, volunteer, and frequent speaker to youth organizations and bar associations.  Among her community activities, Judge Kato has served as a board member of the Museum of History and Industry, Nikkei Concerns, Japanese American Citizens League, Empty Space Theatre, and participated in the Totem Girl Scout Council, Pacific Science Center Summer Youth Camps, and the Asian Pacific Islander Task Force on Youth Juvenile Justice Roundtables.

Judge Susan Mahoney

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Judge Susan Mahoney

Before becoming a King County District Court judge Susan Mahoney was the Assistant City Attorney, City of Des Moines.  She holds a B.A. from the University of Washington and J.D. from Seattle University School of Law

In her campaign for judge (against Eiler) Judge Mahoney said on her website that the King County Bar Association gave her the highest rating - Exceptionally Well Qualified for the District Court bench. Prior to taking the bench Judge Mahoney's courtroom experience involved thousands of cases as a Judge Pro Tem, King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, municipal prosecutor, and attorney in private practice.

For her election she was endorsed by:  King County Police Officers Guild; Citizens for Judicial Excellence; King County Councilmember Julia Patterson; State Senator Karen Keiser; State Representatives Sharon Nelson and Dave Upthegrove; Des Moines Mayor Sheckler and Councilmembers Scott, Sherman, Musser, and White (former); Milton Mayor Katrina Asay; Federal Way Councilmember Jim Ferrell; Des Moines Police Commander John O'Leary; Milton Police Chief William Rhoads; local judges, prosecutors, attorneys and victim advocates.

Judge Corinna Harn

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Judge Corrina Harn

Judge Corinna Harn is serving her third term as Judge in the King County District Court. In January of 2012 Judge Harn was elected by her fellow Judges to lead the Court, as Chief Presiding Judge.

Judge Harn began serving as a pro tem judge in district and municipal courts in 1988. In 1996, Judge Harn was appointed by the Mayor of the City of Renton as that city's municipal court judge and in 1998, she became the first elected judge of the Renton Municipal Court.  Judge Harn has also served as a Commissioner Pro Tem and Judge Pro Tem for the King County Superior Court since 1999 and she is currently a Portability Pro tem (aka Elected Judge Pro Tem) under Superior Court Rule 6 for King County Superior Court.  She is member of the District Court and Municipal Court Judges Association and has served on that organization’s legislative committee for many years. She is also a member of the South King County Bar Association.

Judge Harn graduated from Whitman College with a degree in political science and chemistry. She attended the University of Puget Sound School of Law (which is now a part of Seattle University) and graduated in 1984.From 1984 until 1996, Judge Harn practiced law in Yakima and Seattle. Her practice focused on both plaintiff and defense litigation. She has successfully argued cases before the Washington State Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court.

Judge Harn is the recipient of a number of awards, including the American Jurisprudence Award in Criminal Law, the Friendship Oak Award for helping victims of Hurricane Katrina in Pass Christian, Mississippi, and the Judge David Soukup Award from the Washington State CASA Association for her work on behalf of Washington’s most vulnerable children. Judge Harn has also been an educator at various legal seminars and she was the director of the Paralegal Program at Highline Community College in 1994. She is active in her community in many areas including being a charter member and volunteer with The Soup Ladies—a charitable organization that provides hot meals to first responder emergency personnel, including firefighters, police, and search and rescue, in King and Pierce Counties and across the country.

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