Wednesday/ a day in King County Superior Court

I reported for my summons to do jury duty today here in Seattle today, at the King County Superior Court in downtown.  The Superior Court is where criminal cases* are brought by the State of Washington against defendants.

*[From] The American legal system is comprised of two very different types of cases, criminal and civil. Crimes are generally offenses against the state and society (murder, violent crimes), and are accordingly prosecuted by the State.  Civil cases on the other hand, are typically disputes between individuals regarding the legal duties and responsibilities they owe one another. Criminal cases can result in jail time; in civil cases monetary damages are awarded.  A defendant in a criminal case is entitled to an attorney, and if he or she can’t afford one, the State must provide an attorney. A defendant in a civil case is not given an attorney and must pay for one, or else defend him or herself.

Here are some King County Superior Court statistics –
> Serves the 14th most populous county in the nation
> Handled a caseload of almost 53,000 new cases in 2013
> Has 53 judges and 12 commissioners
> Supported by 520 staff in Superior Court and the Dept of Judicial Administration

So did I get to sit in on a court case as a juror? No, but I might tomorrow – on a short case. One of the cases is expected to go for 6 or 7 weeks, but enough jurors were found by the time my badge number was called. (Whew).

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This mural in the main lobby shows Seattle a century ago.  Smith Tower (with the pyramid cap, on the right) is exactly 100 years old this year; it opened in 1914.
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I love this ‘sunflower’ pattern on the floor in the main lobby.
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Seattle Tower is the city’s oldest art deco tower (opened in 1929), and is a few blocks away from the courthouse on Third Ave.

2 Replies to “Wednesday/ a day in King County Superior Court”

  1. Hi, I stumbled across your blog while searching for images of the King County Courthouse. I am planning a story in which the main character works in the building though I’ve not yet been to Seattle.

    I’m especially interested in images of the entrance which I believe to be off of Jefferson behind the trees though I’m starting to suspect that is no longer used as a public entrance.

    I’m also interested in the skyline from that location and so I’m really curious if you might be able to point me in the right direction or even have some that you could share with me. Thanks for your time and consideraton.

    1. Hi there!
      I’m afraid I don’t have any other images I can send you of the Courthouse, or even point you to, online (besides the views that are available on Google Street View, or with a regular Google image search for King County Courthouse)!
      As for the skyline, there has so much construction going on in downtown Seattle in the last few years, that it has been impossible for even Google Street View to keep up.
      Websites such as or may be of help to you.

      This web page provides renderings of the recent construction, as well as construction projected in the next few years:

      For awhile, a tall 58-storey building in the block just north of the King County Courthouse had been planned, but best I can tell, that project has now been put on hold.


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