13.04.021  <<  13.04.030 >>   13.04.033

Juvenile courtExclusive original jurisdictionExceptions.

(1) Except as provided in this section, the juvenile courts in this state shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all proceedings:
(a) Under the interstate compact on placement of children as provided in chapter 26.34 RCW;
(b) Relating to children alleged or found to be dependent as provided in chapter 26.44 RCW and in RCW 13.34.030 through 13.34.161;
(c) Relating to the termination of a parent and child relationship as provided in RCW 13.34.180 through 13.34.210;
(d) To approve or disapprove out-of-home placement as provided in RCW 13.32A.170;
(e) Relating to juveniles alleged or found to have committed offenses, traffic or civil infractions, or violations as provided in RCW 13.40.020 through 13.40.230, unless:
(i) The juvenile court transfers jurisdiction of a particular juvenile to adult criminal court pursuant to RCW 13.40.110;
(ii) The statute of limitations applicable to adult prosecution for the offense, traffic or civil infraction, or violation has expired;
(iii) The alleged offense or infraction is a traffic, fish, boating, or game offense, or traffic or civil infraction committed by a juvenile 16 years of age or older and would, if committed by an adult, be tried or heard in a court of limited jurisdiction, in which instance the appropriate court of limited jurisdiction shall have jurisdiction over the alleged offense or infraction, and no guardian ad litem is required in any such proceeding due to the juvenile's age. If such an alleged offense or infraction and an alleged offense or infraction subject to juvenile court jurisdiction arise out of the same event or incident, the juvenile court may have jurisdiction of both matters. The jurisdiction under this subsection does not constitute "transfer" or a "decline" for purposes of RCW 13.40.110 (1) or (2) or (e)(i) of this subsection. Courts of limited jurisdiction which confine juveniles for an alleged offense or infraction may place juveniles in juvenile detention facilities under an agreement with the officials responsible for the administration of the juvenile detention facility in RCW 13.04.035 and 13.20.060;
(iv) The alleged offense is a traffic or civil infraction, a violation of compulsory school attendance provisions under chapter 28A.225 RCW, or a misdemeanor, and a court of limited jurisdiction has assumed concurrent jurisdiction over those offenses as provided in *RCW 13.04.0301; or
(v) The juvenile is 16 or 17 years old on the date the alleged offense is committed and the alleged offense is:
(A) A serious violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030;
(B) A violent offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030 and the juvenile has a criminal history consisting of: One or more prior serious violent offenses; two or more prior violent offenses; or three or more of any combination of the following offenses: Any class A felony, any class B felony, vehicular assault, or manslaughter in the second degree, all of which must have been committed after the juvenile's 13th birthday and prosecuted separately; or
(C) Rape of a child in the first degree.
(I) In such a case the adult criminal court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction, except as provided in (e)(v)(C)(II) and (III) of this subsection.
(II) The juvenile court shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the disposition of any remaining charges in any case in which the juvenile is found not guilty in the adult criminal court of the charge or charges for which he or she was transferred, or is convicted in the adult criminal court of an offense that is not also an offense listed in (e)(v) of this subsection. The juvenile court shall maintain residual juvenile court jurisdiction up to age 25 if the juvenile has turned 18 years of age during the adult criminal court proceedings but only for the purpose of returning a case to juvenile court for disposition pursuant to RCW 13.40.300(2)(a)(ii).
(III) The prosecutor and respondent may agree to juvenile court jurisdiction and waive application of exclusive adult criminal jurisdiction in (e)(v)(A) through (C) of this subsection and remove the proceeding back to juvenile court with the court's approval.
If the juvenile challenges the state's determination of the juvenile's criminal history under (e)(v) of this subsection, the state may establish the offender's criminal history by a preponderance of the evidence. If the criminal history consists of adjudications entered upon a plea of guilty, the state shall not bear a burden of establishing the knowing and voluntariness of the plea;
(f) Under the interstate compact on juveniles as provided in chapter 13.24 RCW;
(g) Relating to termination of a diversion agreement under RCW 13.40.080, including a proceeding in which the divertee has attained 18 years of age;
(h) Relating to court validation of a voluntary consent to an out-of-home placement under chapter 13.34 RCW, by the parent or Indian custodian of an Indian child, except if the parent or Indian custodian and child are residents of or domiciled within the boundaries of a federally recognized Indian reservation over which the tribe exercises exclusive jurisdiction; and
(i) Relating to petitions to compel disclosure of information filed by the department of social and health services pursuant to RCW 74.13.042.
(2) The family court shall have concurrent original jurisdiction with the juvenile court over all proceedings under this section if the superior court judges of a county authorize concurrent jurisdiction as provided in RCW 26.12.010.
(3) The juvenile court shall have concurrent original jurisdiction with the family or probate court over minor guardianship proceedings under chapter 11.130 RCW and parenting plans or residential schedules under chapter 26.09, 26.26A, or 26.26B RCW as provided for in RCW 13.34.155.
(4) A juvenile subject to adult superior court jurisdiction under subsection (1)(e)(i) through (v) of this section, who is detained pending trial, may be detained in a detention facility as defined in RCW 13.40.020 pending sentencing or a dismissal.
(5) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section deprives the superior courts in this state of original jurisdiction granted by the Constitution or by other laws.


Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 13.04.0301 was decodified September 2003.
(2) This section was amended by 2024 c 117 s 3 and by 2024 c 232 s 2, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
Application2024 c 117: See note following RCW 13.40.300.
FindingsIntent2019 c 322: See note following RCW 72.01.410.
Effective date2018 c 162 ss 2 and 7: "Sections 2 and 7 of this act take effect July 1, 2019." [ 2018 c 162 s 11.]
Expiration date2018 c 162 ss 1 and 6: "Sections 1 and 6 of this act expire July 1, 2019." [ 2018 c 162 s 10.]
Effective date2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 ss 601-631, 701-728, and 804: See note following RCW 13.04.011.
Conflict with federal requirements2017 3rd sp.s. c 6: See RCW 43.216.908.
Application1997 c 386: See note following RCW 13.50.010.
FindingIntent1997 c 341: "The legislature finds that a swift and certain response to a juvenile who begins engaging in acts of delinquency may prevent the offender from becoming a chronic or more serious offender. However, given pressing demands to address serious offenders, the system does not always respond to minor offenders expeditiously and effectively. Consequently, this act is adopted to implement an experiment to determine whether granting courts of limited jurisdiction concurrent jurisdiction over certain juvenile offenses will improve the system's effectiveness in curbing delinquency. The legislature may ascertain whether this approach might be successful on a larger scale by conducting an experiment with local governments, which are the laboratories of democracy." [ 1997 c 341 s 1.]
FindingEvaluationReport1997 c 338: See note following RCW 13.40.0357.
SeverabilityEffective dates1997 c 338: See notes following RCW 5.60.060.
Short title1995 c 312: See note following RCW 13.32A.010.
Application of 1994 sp.s. c 7 amendments: "Provisions governing exceptions to juvenile court jurisdiction in the amendments to RCW 13.04.030 contained in section 519, chapter 7, Laws of 1994 sp. sess. shall apply to serious violent and violent offenses committed on or after June 13, 1994. The criminal history which may result in loss of juvenile court jurisdiction upon the alleged commission of a serious violent or violent offense may have been acquired on, before, or after June 13, 1994." [ 1994 sp.s. c 7 s 540.]
FindingIntentSeverabilityEffective datesContingent expiration date1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.
Savings1988 c 14: "Any court validation of a voluntary consent to relinquishment or adoption of an Indian child which was obtained in a juvenile court or superior court pursuant to chapter 26.33 RCW after July 25, 1987, and before June 9, 1988, shall be valid and effective in all respects." [ 1988 c 14 s 2.]
Severability1987 c 170: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1987 c 170 s 15.]
Effective dateSeverability1980 c 128: See notes following RCW 46.63.060.
Effective dateSeverability1979 c 155: See notes following RCW 13.04.011.
Effective datesSeverability1977 ex.s. c 291: See notes following RCW 13.04.005.
Court commissioners: Chapter 2.24 RCW, state Constitution Art. 4 s 23.
Jurisdiction of superior courts: State Constitution Art. 4 s 6 (Amendment 65).
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