District Court
District Court

Legal Terms

District Court - Quick Links

Court Calendar
Mitigation By Email
JAVS viewer Download
Jury Duty
Other Information
Forms  (all in PDF format)
District Court Payment

ALERT! District Court does
not send out email notifications
regarding court matters.

NOTICE: District Court will
not accept any online
community service hours
or victim impact panels that
have been done online.

P.O. Box 1220
Port Townsend, 
WA 98368

Dist Court: 360.385.9135
Probation: 360.385.9123
Fax: 360.385.9367

Monday - Friday
8:30 to 4:30



  • Appeal
    A new hearing of all of the claims by the Superior Court.

  • Continuance
    A request to postpone a court date.

  • Costs
    Certain fees and charges a party pays to file and present a case or to enforce a judgment.

  • Damages
    Money claimed or awarded in Court, equal to the dollar value of the claimant's losses.

  • Default
    When a party to the lawsuit fails to attend the small claims court hearing.  If the party was properly notified of the action (served), the judge may hear and decide the case without hearing the absent party's side.

  • Default judgment
    A judgment entered when one party does not attend the small claims court hearing.

  • Defendant
    The person or business being sued.

  • Defense
    The defendant's facts or arguments that demonstrate why the plaintiff is not entitled to the relief requested.

  • Dismiss with prejudice
    To dismiss the present action and deny the right to file another suit on that claim.

  • Dismiss without prejudice
    To dismiss the present action, but leave open the possibility of another suit on the same claim.

  • Enforce
    To put the judgment into effect by taking legal steps to bring about compliance
  • Good cause
    A good reason. For example, a party must have good cause (better than not having a car or not being able to find a baby-sitter) for not attending the small claims court hearing.

  • Guarantor
    One who promises to be responsible for the debt or default of another.

  • Installment payments
    Weekly, monthly, or other scheduled payments on a debt.

  • Judgment
    The Court's decision.

  • Judgment creditor
    The party (who may be the plaintiff or the defendant) in whose favor a judgment has been awarded.

  • Judgment debtor
    The party (who may be the plaintiff or the defendant) against whom the judgment has been entered.

  • Jurisdictional limit
    The maximum monetary amount that may be awarded by the small claims court. The limit is $2,500.

  • Mediation
    A non-adversarial, out-of-court alternative used to settle disputes.

  • Motion
    A request to the Court.

  • Personal service
    Service of court papers by handing a copy to the person who is served.

  • Plaintiff
    The party who files the lawsuit.

  • Pro tem judge
    An attorney who volunteers his or her time to hear and decide Small Claims Court cases. Also called a temporary judge.

  • Process server
    A person who serves court papers on a party to a suit.

  • Service of process
    Formally notifying the defendant that a suit has been filed against the defendant, made by certified mail, or by personal service, or by substituted service.

  • Statute of limitation
    The period of time following an occurrence in which a lawsuit must be filed.

  • Vacate the default judgment
    Getting a default judgment removed or erased.

  • Venue
    The particular court in which an action may properly be brought.

  • Wage garnishment
    A legal procedure that requires the employer of a judgment debtor to withhold a portion of the judgment debtor's wages to satisfy the judgment.

  • Waive
    To abandon or give up a claim or a right, or forgive some other requirements.





Best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
Windows - Mac