Family Law Court Commissioner

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Legal
Posted on May 10, 2022
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** Please note that the annual salary will be $193,011 effective July 1, 2022 **

King County Superior Court is recruiting for a current opening for Family Law Commissioner. Qualified candidates may be placed on an eligibility list for future recruitments if not selected.
Commissioners generally fill a variety of statutory and constitutional responsibilities and can preside over the Ex Parte, Probate, Family Law, Juvenile Court dependency and offender, Involuntary Treatment Act and Criminal Plea calendars as assigned by the Presiding Judge. They may be designated to sit as judges pro tempore from time to time.

Family Law Commissioners' duties, in accordance with RCW 2.24.040, RCW 26.12.060, RCW 28A.225.095, and RCW 13.04.021, include, but are not limited to, presiding over matters pertaining to Family and/or Juvenile Law and Civil Commitments. Family Law Commissioners hear matters involving self-represented persons as well as persons who are represented; and perform other related duties as assigned by the Presiding Judge. Because of recent changes in law, the commissioner’s duties will also include presiding over a variety of protection order hearings.  

This position is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not overtime-eligible. This position is at-will and serves at the pleasure of the court.

Who May Apply: This position is open to attorneys licensed to practice in Washington State.
Work Schedule: The hours of work may vary but are typically between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at one of the King County Superior Court facilities, with additional reading required outside of regular court hours.
Work Location: This position may serve in any of the King County Superior Court facilities: King County Courthouse - 516 3rd Ave, Seattle WA 98104; Patricia Clark Children and Family Justice Center – 1211 E. Alder, Seattle, WA 98122; Maleng Regional Justice Center, 401 4th Ave. N., Kent, WA 98032.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS REQUIRED: Please include a resume and cover letter describing how you meet or exceed the requirements for this position.  The following additional documents are required:
  • Confirmation of Citizenship form, per RCW  2.24.010 
  • WSBA Release 
  • Criminal Records Background Check form
Electronic versions of these documents may be found at the link below, under "Work for Superior Court": 

If you are unable to access these documents electronically, you may obtain them by calling King County Superior Court Human Resources at (206) 477-1536

These materials are supplemental to your application. You must still completely fill out the application with your relevant education and work experience. Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you include relevant information only on the resume or cover letter, or if you reference "see resume" on your application.
 Please note that you can attach multiple documents to your application. You may:
 1) Copy and paste one or more documents into the text resume section of your application; OR
 2) Attach multiple documents/files in the attachment section of your application.

Job Duties

Family Law Commissioners:

Family Law Commissioners hear family law matters, including but not limited to the following issues:

  • Temporary orders, including parenting plans, support, property distribution and additional issues.
  • Adequate cause for modification of parenting plans
  • Determination of parentage 
  • Child custody 
  • Restraining orders 
  • Protection Orders 
  • Contempt and enforcement
  • Dissolutions of marriage 
  • Legal separations 
  • Other matters as assigned by the Presiding Judge

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Required Experience, Qualifications and Knowledge:
 Applicants must meet the U.S. citizenship requirements of RCW 2.24.010 . Membership in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association, with no history of discipline by the Washington State Bar Association, is required.  Must be able to use a personal computer and Microsoft Office programs.
Knowledge of the judicial system, including applicable law and King County local rules, statutes, legal principles and case precedents, court procedures, King County Superior Court protocols and King County Superior Court calendaring practices is required.  The ability to objectively identify, analyze and interpret legal issues, principles and arguments, direct and control courtroom proceedings in a decisive, orderly and equitable manner, communicate orally and in writing in a concise and effective manner, exercise appropriate judicial temperament and demeanor, and effectively handle pressure in difficult and unexpected situations by responding in a calm and rational manner, is required. The ability to effectively manage a high-volume court calendar, including the requisite reading and preparation, is required. The ability to proficiently use court-based technology programs, including ECR and SCOMIS, is required.
Family Law Commissioner: At least 50% of the applicant's current practice and a minimum of five years of recent experience must be in the area of family law under RCW Title 26; or experience deemed as equivalent. Familiarity with King County Family Law rules and practice is required.

Supplemental Information


Necessary special requirements:  The ability to reliably travel throughout the county is required, including to the King County Courthouse - 516 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, and the Maleng Regional Justice Center - 401 4th Avenue N., Kent, WA 98032 on occasion. Finalists are subject to the Washington State Patrol criminal background check and a reference check. Criminal background records are not automatically disqualifying.
King County Superior Court is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.
As of December 6, 2021, King County Superior Court employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Your response to questions regarding your vaccination status will be reviewed as part of Superior Court's hiring process.
Selection process:  Application materials will be screened for qualifications and offers will be made to the most competitive candidates.
Union membership:  This position is at-will and is not represented by a union..
If you have questions regarding this position, please call King County Superior Court Human Resources at (206) 477-1536.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

This application requires the following five documents: 1) Resume 2) Cover Letter 3) WSBA release 4) Criminal Background release 5) Confirmation of Citizenship. Please contact Superior Court Human Resources at (206) 477-1536 for WSBA release, Criminal Background Release and Confirmation of Citizenship forms, if you cannot access these five documents electronically. If you do not include these forms your application will be considered incomplete. Have you included these five documents?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you a member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association?
  • Yes
  • No
For how many years have you practiced Family Law? If none, please enter "none."
What percentage of your practice in the last five years involves Family Law under RCW 26? If none, please enter "none."
State the number of Family Law cases in which you have been chief counsel in state Superior Court in the last five years. You may estimate the number of cases by giving a range of values, e.g. "between 10 and 20."
Identify all your experience as a neutral decision maker, e.g. judge (permanent or pro-tem), Court Commissioner (permanent or pro-tem), administrative law judge, arbitrator, hearing officer, etc. If none, please enter "none."
Have you ever been disciplined or cited for a breach of ethics or unprofessional conduct by, or is any investigation currently pending before any court, administrative agency, bar association, disciplinary committee or other professional group?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "Yes" to Question 7 above, please give the particulars, including resolution. If you answered "No," please enter "N/A."
Has a client ever made a claim or filed suit against you for malpractice or any other cause?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "Yes" to Question 9 above, please give the particulars. If you answered "No," please enter "N/A."
If you have ever sat as a judge, have you ever received any form of discipline by the Judicial Conduct Commission?
  • Yes
  • No
  • N/A
If you answered "Yes" to Question 11 above, please give the particulars. If you answered No or N/A, please enter "N/A."
Have you ever been adjudged guilty of a crime (excluding minor traffic offenses)?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered "Yes" to Question 13 above, please give the particulars. If you answered "No," please enter "N/A."
Identify three matters which you personally handled and which you personally found significant and briefly summarize the nature of each case. Please state why you found the matters significant. Describe the nature and date of your participation. Provide the case name and case number or, if reported, the case citation. Please provide the names and contact information for other counsel and judicial officers involved in these matters. If you have been a judge, include some cases that have been tried before you.
List the names, phone numbers and email addresses of opposing counsel and judicial officers for your last five trials, fact-finding hearings, or contested motions.
If you have been a judge or otherwise served as a neutral decision maker, list the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the attorneys who appeared before you in your last five significantly contested matters. If you have not served in this capacity, please enter "N/A."
If you served as a mediator or facilitator of dispute resolution, list the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the attorneys who appeared before you in the last five cases. If you have not served in this capacity, please enter "N/A."
List the names, phone numbers and email addresses of three non-attorney references whose opinions or observations would assist the committee in its evaluation of you.
Please list the names and contact information for three attorney and three judicial officer references.

Required Question