Student Traffic Court

PURPOSE

An active Student Traffic Court at Tahoma High School will have several positive outcomes for the community but most importantly, we seek to improve juvenile driving behavior.  This change will happen by engaging students with their community, allowing them to discuss their infraction, hear how their behavior affects the community, and resolving the violation by following through with a peer imposed consequence.  A Student Traffic Court will allow students to take ownership of their actions and give them a platform to resolve it in a manner that forces personal accountability and civic engagement. 

HOW IT WORKS

Beginning in October 2019, students of Tahoma High School who receive a minor traffic infraction within the city limits of Maple Valley may submit a Request for Hearing to the Kent Court along with their infraction requesting to participate in the Tahoma High School Traffic Court.  The form states that the student agrees that they committed the infraction and are voluntarily submitting to a hearing by a panel of their peers.

The Kent Court Clerk will review that the Request for Hearing form is completed properly and if accepted will forward the infraction and the Request Form to the Student Traffic Court Advisor.  At this point, the Tahoma Student Traffic Court is in charge to satisfy the infraction.  The Student Court Clerk will set a hearing date and notify the student approximately two weeks prior to the hearing. All hearings will be held during Power Hour in room 215.  It is very important that the student appear at the time and location of the hearing.  If they fail to show, it will be treated the same as failing to show to a court hearing at the Kent Courthouse.

The hearings are structured similar to an actual court hearing; however, instead of a judge and jury, we will be utilizing a Judge Panel consisting of three (3) to five (5) judges.  The student will have an opportunity to talk about the violation as well as answer questions from the Panel.  After hearing the case the Judge Panel will convene and determine the penalty and timeline to complete the penalty.  Penalties are determined using guidelines provided by the Kent Courthouse; however, the Student Court may increase or decrease the penalty if they find it appropriate. All penalties are a certain number of community service hours and/or educational based assignments.  No fines are involved.  The Student Court Clerk will provide the student a copy of the judgement with instructions on how to complete it. 

If the student successfully completes the penalty then the infraction will be dismissed by the Kent Courthouse.  However, if the student fails to meet the requirements set forth by the Student Traffic Court the failure will be communicated to the Kent Courthouse and the Defendant will be required to pay the fine on the original infraction and the violation will go onto their driving record if “Traffic” is selected on the front of the infraction.

ELIGIBILITY FOR STUDENT COURT

If you can answer “YES” to every question below, you will be eligible for the Student Traffic Court.  Please pick up the Request for Hearing Form from the cashier’s window or download a copy (link below).  Complete this form and mail or hand deliver to the Kent Courthouse located at 1210 Central AVE S, Kent, WA 98032.

If you answer “NO” to any question on this list, please follow the instructions written on the infraction as your application will be denied.

Please contacted SRO Officer Carl Bonnell if you have any questions about these requirements. 

Yes / No         I agree I have committed the above cited infraction(s).

Yes / No         I am an active student in the Tahoma School District and either 16 or 17 years old.              

Yes / No         The violation listed above occurred within the City Limits of Maple Valley.

Yes / No         This is the first infraction to be reviewed by any Youth Court.

Yes / No         This infraction did not involve a collision.

Yes / No         This infraction is not for a Negligent Driving or No Insurance violation.

Yes / No         I agree to complete sentence within deadline as issued by student court jury.

Yes / No         I agree to waive my right to a speedy hearing and promise to appear to the assigned court date which will be held during the Tahoma High School’s Power Hour.

(Necessary to allow infractions received in June/July to be heard once school starts in September.)

Click here to access Request for Hearing Form
Click here view view community service opportunities

CONTACT

For more information, Contact the Student Court Advisors, Robin Hall in room 215 or Elizabeth Monn in room 308, or SRO Officer Carl Bonnell in his office or at cbonnell@tahomasd.us.

 

 

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