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About District Court

About the Court

The Whatcom County District Court consists of two Judges, elected for four years, one appointed Commissioner, and professional and paraprofessional staff.  The Court hears criminal, civil, infraction and miscellaneous cases. 

Criminal misdemeanor cases carry a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.  Criminal gross misdemeanor cases carry a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.  Some examples of criminal cases heard by the court are:

  • DUI
  • Assault (Including Domestic Violence)
  • Driving While License Suspended
  • Theft and Miscellaneous Property Crimes

Civil cases including both:

General civil actions with damage claims in the maximum amount of $75,000.  The court does not hear cases involving title to or possession of real property.

Small claims actions with money claims in the maximum amount of $5,000.  The small claims court may ONLY grant a judgment for monetary damages.  The court may not order the other party to return property or do any action except the payment of money.  

Infractions including traffic and code violations.

Miscellaneous proceedings including:

  • Anti-harassment Petitions
  • Domestic Violence Petitions
  • Name Change Petitions
  • Vehicle Impound Hearings