Washington Supreme Court

The Washington Supreme Court is the highest judicial court in the State of Washington.  The Supreme Court consist of five Judges those includes a Chief Justice and eight Justices.  A majority is necessary to form a quorum, and pronounce a decision.  The legislature can increase the number of Judges on the Supreme Court from time to time and may provide for separate departments of the court.  Judges of the Court are elected for six-year terms.  Justices must retire at the age of 75.  A study conducted by Supreme Court of California found that the Washington Supreme Court’s decisions were the second most widely followed by the appellate Courts of all other U.S. states in the period from 1940 to 2005. 

The Washington State Supreme Court Justices are elected at large by the voters of the state of Washington.  Pursuant to section 4, Article IV Washington Constitution, Supreme Court of Washington has original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, quo warranto and mandamus as to all state officers.  By virtue of the same provision, the Supreme Court also has appellate jurisdiction in all actions and proceedings, except this jurisdiction shall not extend to civil actions for recovery of money or personal property when the original amount in dispute exceeds two hundred dollars.  The Supreme Court also has the power to issue writs of mandamus, review, prohibition, habeas corpus, certiorari and all other writs necessary and proper to the complete exercise of its appellate and revisory jurisdiction.  Each Judge has the power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the state upon petition received on behalf of any person held in actual custody.

Washington Courts Website: http://www.courts.wa.gov/index.cfm


Inside Washington Supreme Court