Chapter 2.86
MUNICIPAL COURT*

Sections:

2.86.010    Established – Jurisdiction.

2.86.020    Qualifications.

2.86.030    Term, appointment and removal.

2.86.040    Judges pro tempore, judicial vacancies and additional judges.

2.86.050    Salaries.

2.86.060    Municipal court facilities – Alternate locations – Hours of court.

2.86.070    Indemnification.

2.86.080    Administration.

*    Prior ordinance history: Ord. 1725.

2.86.010 Established – Jurisdiction.

A court is now established in Blaine which shall be known as “the municipal court of Blaine” hereinafter designated and referred to as “the municipal court,” which court shall have jurisdiction and shall exercise all powers granted by RCW 3.50.010 et seq., as it now exists or may be hereafter amended, and vested in this court, together with such other powers and jurisdiction as are generally conferred upon such court in this state either by common law or by express statute. (Ord. 2509 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1836 § 1, 1987)

2.86.020 Qualifications.

Judges in the Blaine municipal court shall be licensed to practice law in the state of Washington and shall be citizens of the United States and Whatcom County. Judges appointed and confirmed shall take their appointment effective upon their taking their oath of office before the city council as administered by the city manager, the mayor or city clerk pursuant to RCW 3.50.097. Upon taking and executing the oath, the oath shall be filed with the Whatcom County auditor. (Ord. 2509 § 2, 2002; Ord. 2113 § 1, 1993)

2.86.030 Term, appointment and removal.

A. The term of office shall be four years. The municipal judge(s) holding office on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall continue to hold office until expiration of his/her/their term(s) on January 1, 2006. The term of a successor(s) shall commence on January 1, 2006, and on January 1st of each fourth year thereafter, pursuant to appointment as provided below. Upon the expiration of his or her term, a municipal judge’s appointment shall not be automatically extended or renewed, unless said judge is reappointed.

B. The municipal judge(s) shall be appointed by the city manager subject to confirmation by the city council. The appointment shall be made on or before December 1st of each year next preceding the year in which the term(s) commences.

C. A municipal judge shall only be removed by a majority vote of the city council, and only upon a conviction of misconduct or malfeasance in office, or because of physical or mental disability rendering the judge incapable of performing the duties of the office upon a determination by the city manager and confirmed by the majority vote of the city council that such a disability exists. Any such vacancy shall be filled according to the terms of this chapter for the remainder of the unexpired term. (Ord. 2509 § 3, 2002)

2.86.040 Judges pro tempore, judicial vacancies and additional judges.

A. Any vacancy in the office of municipal judge due to death, disability, resignation or removal shall be filled by appointment by the city manager for the remainder of the unexpired term, with the appointment being subject to confirmation by the city council. The replacement judge shall be qualified to hold the position of municipal judge as provided in this chapter.

B. The city manager upon confirmation by the city council may designate in writing judges pro tem who shall act in the absence or disability of the regular judge or judges, or subsequent to the filing of an affidavit of prejudice. Judges pro tem shall not be subject to confirmation by the majority of the city council. A judge pro tem shall be qualified to hold the position of judge of the municipal court as provided in this chapter except that judges pro tem need not be residents of Whatcom County. The term of appointment for a judge pro tem shall be specified in writing, but in any event shall not extend beyond the term of the municipal court judge for whom he or she is substituting.

C. The city manager may appoint in writing one or more additional judge(s) whenever the public interest and the administration of justice so require. Additional judges appointed pursuant to this chapter may serve either as part-time or full-time judges as shall be designated by the city manager at the time of appointment. The appointment of additional judges shall be subject to confirmation by the majority of the city council. Additional judges shall be qualified to hold the position of municipal judge as is provided in this chapter. The term of an additional judge shall be specified by the city manager in writing, but in any event shall not exceed the remaining term of the regularly appointed judges with whom the additional judge serves. (Ord. 2509 § 3, 2002)

2.86.050 Salaries.

Salaries of the municipal court judge, judges pro tem and additional judges shall be fixed by ordinance. (Ord. 2509 § 3, 2002)

2.86.060 Municipal court facilities – Alternate locations – Hours of court.

The municipal court for the city of Blaine shall be held in the city council chambers, unless held in other locations as determined necessary by the municipal court judge and/or the city manager. Arraignments, other court hearings and trials may from time to time be held in other locations, such as the Whatcom County Jail, as determined by the municipal court judge to be necessary. The hours of the court shall be determined by the municipal court judge after consultation with and upon approval of the city manager. Either the city manager or the municipal court judge may change the time of the municipal court as determined to be necessary. (Ord. 2509 § 3, 2002)

2.86.070 Indemnification.

The city shall defend, indemnify and hold the municipal court judge, and all other city of Blaine judges pro tem and additional judges harmless from any and all claims arising out of the good faith performance of his/her duties and functions as the Blaine municipal court judge. (Ord. 2509 § 3, 2002)

2.86.080 Administration.

The municipal court judge and all other city of Blaine judges pro tem and additional judges shall report to the city manager. (Ord. 2509 § 3, 2002)