Important Notice – District Court personnel are not permitted to fill out any forms. District Court personnel are also not authorized to give legal advice. District Court strongly encourages an unrepresented party to seek legal advice from an attorney. If you need help, please review the "Guide To Website Forms" on the District Court website.
The information contained here is intended to address the most frequently asked questions. It is not comprehensive and should not be construed as legal advice.
Important Notice Regarding Litigant Confidential Information – District Court needs information about every party involved in a case so the court can accurately identify the parties and be able to contact them.
If you have not already done so, please complete a Litigant Confidential Information Form and provide it to the court. You should also use the form to update information previously provided to the court.
First, Start With "Appeals Checklist" – If your case is a civil, criminal, or infraction case, click on the link "Appeals Checklist (Civil, Criminal, Infraction)." If your case is a small claims case, click on the link "Appeals Checklist (Small Claims)."
Next Review "Guide To Representing Yourself" – Click on the link "Guide To Representing Yourself" so that you can confidently represent yourself.
Then Review "Guide To Website Forms" – The District Court website contains many forms. Before using these forms, please click on the link "Guide To Website Forms" to assist you with the proper use of these forms.
Appeals Checklist (Civil, Criminal, Infraction)Appeals Checklist (Small Claims)Designation Of RecordAppellate Declaration Of Service
Appeals Checklist (Civil, Criminal, Infraction)
Appeals Checklist (Small Claims)
Designation Of Record
Appellate Declaration Of Service
Motion To Stay Enforcement Of District Court JudgmentNotice Of AppealMotion To Stay Enforcement Of Sentence
Motion To Stay Enforcement Of District Court Judgment
Notice Of Appeal
Motion To Stay Enforcement Of Sentence
Note – "Appeals" Link Does Not Apply to an Appeal of a Case to District Court – This "Appeals" link concerns cases where a party wants to appeal a District Court decision to Superior Court. The "Appeals" link is not for cases where a party wants to appeal a decision made by another entity to District Court for review. For example, a party wanting to appeal a hearings examiner decision declaring an animal potentially dangerous would need to follow the process outlined in the "Animals" link.
What May be Appealed? A party may appeal to Kitsap County Superior Court any "final decision" made by District Court except a decision in an infraction mitigation hearing or an infraction mitigation hearing on written statement. There are also some limitations on a person's right to appeal a District Court small claims judgment or decision.
What are the Time Limitations to Appeal? A Notice of Appeal must be filed in District Court within 30 days of a District Court "final decision" or an appeal will be denied.
What is a "Final Decision"? A "final decision" includes any District Court written final determination of the rights of the parties such as a judgment, decree, dismissal, or any order which finally disposes of a case and was intended to do so. A "final decision" need not be in any particular form. A final decision also includes an order granting or denying a motion for new trial, reconsideration, or amendment of judgment, and an order granting or denying arrest of a judgment in a criminal case.
What Procedures Must be Followed? There are many court rules and statutes one must carefully follow to properly appeal a case. The procedures depend on the type of case being appealed.
Procedures for Appeal of a Civil, Criminal, or Infraction Case – The procedures for perfecting an appeal from a District Court civil, criminal or infraction case, except a small claims case, are provided for in the Rules for Appeal of Decisions of Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (RALJ).
Procedures for Appeal of a Small Claims Case – The procedures for perfecting an appeal from a District Court small claims case are provided for in Rules 72 through 75A of the Civil Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (CRLJ), chapter 12.36 RCW (Small Claims Appeals), and Rule 1.1(b) of the Rules for Appeal of Decisions of Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (RALJ). These procedures are discussed in the Appeal Instructions (Small Claims).
Can the Judge Waive Court and Clerk Appeal Fees and Surcharges? Yes. A person's access to the judicial branch of government is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Any individual on the basis of indigency may seek a waiver of any filing fee or surcharge where the "payment of which is a condition precedent to a litigant's ability to secure access to judicial relief from a judicial officer in the applicable trial court." General Rule 34(a).
Upon application, an individual shall be determined by District Court to be indigent for waiver of fees and surcharges if any one of the following four circumstances are established pursuant to General Rule 34(a)(3) –
Government Assistance – An individual is currently receiving assistance under any needs-based, means-tested assistance program such as – (1) Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); (2) State-provided general assistance for unemployable individuals (GA-U or GA-X); (3) Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI); (4) Federal poverty-related veteran's benefits; or (5) Food Stamp Program (FSP); or Below Poverty Guideline – An individual's household income is at or below 125% of the federal poverty guideline; orWithout Financial Ability – An individual's household income is above 125% of the federal poverty guideline and recurring basic living expenses (as defined in RCW 10.101.010(4)(d)) render the individual without the financial ability to pay the fees or surcharges; orOther – Other compelling circumstances exist that demonstrate an individual's inability to pay fees and/or surcharges.
A Motion For Waiver Of Fees form is available on this page and at several locations in the District Court website.