COVID-19

Court Operations Under Exigent Circumstances created by COVID-19:

  • Pending criminal cases (District Court and Magistrate Court), the Court finds that using video conferencing or telephone conferencing when necessary would result in minimizing undue risk to defendants, counsel, law enforcement, Court staff,  witnesses,  and the public at large.  Accordingly, the Court will continue to encourage and use these tools for those hearings allowed by General Order 20-101-7 and the CARES Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, when ordered by the presiding judge.

  • Hearings in civil and criminal matters set for telephonic appearance by all parties or hearings set without oral argument remain unaffected;

  • Magistrate Judge hearings and functions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; and

  • At this time, the Yakima and Richland Clerks Offices will require advance notice prior to the posting of a criminal bond.  Appointments are available in both of the Court’s locations by contacting the Clerk’s Office at the numbers listed below.  Please contact only the office in which the bond will be posted on behalf of your client.
                  
                    Richland Clerk’s Office:      509-943-8170
                    Yakima Clerk’s Office:         509-573-6600

  • Notice to Public Access Terminal Users in Yakima and Richland - If you need assistance with accessing court documents and are not able, or cannot afford, to use PACER.gov, please call the appropriate number listed above.

  • All non-case related events scheduled to be held in the District’s courthouses, including naturalization proceedings and outreach events, are postponed pending further order of the Court.

  • Contact the Bankruptcy Court directly for guidance on bankruptcy proceedings.

See General Order 20-101-7 for additional information.

TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS REGARDING ACCESS TO THE COURT: 

The Spokane Federal Courthouse is now open to the public. The Yakima Federal Courthouse and the court floors of the Richland Federal Courthouse are closed to the public through July 31, 2020. See General Order 20-101-7 for additional information and William O. Douglas Federal Building FSC Order 20-08 and Richland Courthouse and Federal Building Order No. 20-05 for additional information.

All persons seeking entry to, or occupying, the Federal Courthouses in all three locations must wear a mask. See General Order 20-101-7Administrative Order 20-04, Richland Courthouse and Federal Building Order No. 20-04 and FSC Order No. 20-01 for additional information.

 Prior FSC Orders:

Physical access to urgent in-person proceedings scheduled at this time will be limited to parties, counsel, witnesses and victims.

The Clerk’s Office in  Spokane is open to the public effective June 1, 2020. The Yakima and Richland Clerks Office are closed to the public through July 31, 2020.  Filings and payments may be left in designated drop boxes at the Court Security Officer locations (guard stations) in Yakima and Richland.  The Court encourages filings by CM/ECF, use of the mail, or delivery services.

The Clerk’s Office is not closed, it is operational and you may contact the office by telephone during business hours. 

Notice Regarding Press and Public Access to Court Hearings
 
Effective immediately, the audio content of hearings held in the Eastern District of Washington throughout the COVID-19 pandemic event will be available in real-time to members of the press and public via a dedicated teleconference line.  This access will be free of charge.  Dial-in information will be available on PACER via the docket for each scheduled case.   Hearing content provided in such manner must NOT be recorded or rebroadcast.