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Outdoor smoke contains very small particles and gases, including carbon monoxide. These particles can get into your eyes and lungs where they can cause health problems. Main sources of outdoor smoke in Washington:
Inhaling smoke is not good for anyone, even healthy people. People most likely to have health problems from breathing smoke include:
Contact your health care provider if you have heart or lung problems when around smoke. Dial 911 for emergency assistance if symptoms are serious.
If you cannot leave the smoky area or find other ways to reduce your exposure, certain types of face masks can provide some protection. Respirator masks labeled N95 or N100 filter out fine particles but not hazardous gases (such as carbon monoxide). These masks can be found at many hardware and home repair stores and pharmacies. Face masks will not work for everyone.
Some room air cleaners can reduce indoor air pollution if they have the proper filter. The most effective air cleaners have a HEPA filter which removes the fine particulates from smoke. HEPA filters with charcoal will remove or reduce chemicals in the air, but not carbon monoxide. Air filtration units should be located in the room where you spend most of your time.
For more information, see California's air cleaning devices for the home (PDF).
Avoid outdoor exercise when air quality is in the “Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy, or Hazardous” categories. If you are sensitive to smoke, you should limit your outdoor activities when air quality is in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category. People with asthma and lung and heart conditions may be very sensitive to poor air quality and may start to have symptoms when air quality is in the “Moderate” category.
Check outdoor air quality to see the category for your area on the Washington Air Quality Advisory Map.
Avoid driving, when possible. If you must drive, keep the windows and vents closed. Most vehicles can re-circulate the inside air which will help keep particle levels lower.
Debit/Credit cards are only accepted until 4:00pm each day.
Setbacks are the minimum distance (measured in feet) from a building to the front, side and rear property lines or any other lot line to the nearest structure placed on the property, excluding eaves of less than 24 inches. Jefferson County’s minimum rear and side setbacks are 5 feet. Generally, Jefferson County’s setbacks are:
For more details, please review our:
All parcels in the county are zoned for specific uses. There are 2 ways to view the zoning for the parcel you are interested in:
Please refer to section 18.15.040 of the UDC (Unified Development Code) for the County for the definitions of the each of the zoning designations.
The County allows parcels zoned Rural Residential 1:5 (RR 1:5), Rural Residential 1:10 (RR 1:10),an Rural Residential 1:20 (RR 1:20) to have:
You can learn more about specific land uses by reviewing the chart in our Unified Development Code (UDC) in section 18.15.040.
If you are planning on purchasing any land and/or a home in Jefferson County, we highly recommend that you speak with a Land Use Planner (using the CAM process), especially if the parcel is on shoreline or on or near any critical areas.
Permits for any parcel can be found by visiting our Permit Database Search Tool. Once there, you can type in the parcel number or address to research all permits applied for and/or issued for a property.
Building a tiny home as a residence is the same as a “regular” home (see brochure). The home needs to be sited outside any critical area buffers like streams and geohazardous areas (like landslide-prone areas). You would also need to hook it up to a septic system and have potable water. Check with Environmental Health on septic and water requirements at (360) 385-9444. If you have questions about the construction of the home, contact our Building Plans Examiner at (360) 379-4461.
Here’s a link to Labor and Industries regarding tiny homes: https://lni.wa.gov/licensing-permits/manufactured-modular-mobile-structures/tiny-homes/.
Canvas yurts can be permitted as a temporary living structure, such as seasonal camping, but may not contain a heating element or plumbing and have size restrictions. In order for a yurt to meet code and be allowed, it must be less than 500 sq feet, unheated and unplumbed and only used for temporary use, such as camping. Yurts, built using a standard canvas exterior over a wooden frame, are not able to meet energy code for heat retention and do not meet the requirements for fire, life and safety and therefore are not permissible as a residence. With these guidelines, a yurt can be permitted along with the platform or decking it will be built upon.
Hard-sided yurts are permitted so long as they meet energy code. Pre-engineered kits are available from online resources.
Please refer to Chapter 31 in the International Building Code (IBC) regarding Special Construction for more information.
An addition to an existing house (like an additional bedroom) would require the following:
If you follow the checklist you should have everything that you will need. If you have potable water on the property already, you will not have to prove potable water again, however if there is a septic on the property and you are adding another bedroom, a septic review is required. We call septic reviews "O&M"s (Operations and Maintenance inspections); depending on the type of system you have you either do this inspection once a year or once every three years.
For your floor plan we would like to have a before-and-after. Your building plans should only show the new work that is being done.
Lastly, if your property is located within shoreline or critical areas we recommend that you meet with one of our land use planners first to verify that you will not need some type of land use permit. You can walk in and meet with a Planner Monday-Thursday 10:30-12:00; additionally, Planners are available for scheduled appointments Tuesday-Thursday 1:30-4:30. The charge is $50 for every 30 minutes. Book time with a Planner here: https://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/facilities/facility/details/dcdstaffconsultations-3.
Do I need a permit for a small picnic pavilion on my property? I plan to have no water and no power going to it; just a roof for a picnic table.
Yes you would need a permit. Your project will be considered a "Pole Building." Here are the forms you will need to submit:
If this project will be in the City of Port Townsend then you will need to contact them at 360-379-5095. If your project will be within the county you will need the following:
If there is a septic on the property you will need to get a septic review from Environmental Health. We call septic reviews "O&M"s (Operations and Maintenance inspections); depending on the type of system you have you either do this inspection once a year or once every three years. If there is not a septic on the property then you will not need that review.
Who do I talk to about preliminary questions as I begin to research the planning of a home or other structure to be built in Jefferson County?
DCD offers a suite of options to answer questions and help plan development. Fees start at $50 for a 30 minute appointment. Customer Service fees up to $94 may be credited to a project application if the customer applies within one year from the date of the meeting or customer service provided.
Do I need a permit for a building a want to put on my property for my tractor? It will have no door, no windows, no heat, no water and no power going to it.
Yes you would need a permit. Here are the forms you will need to submit:
Additionally, if you don't have an address on the site, you will need to apply for one.
Yes, we require setbacks and any foundation rebar to be inspected prior to pouring concrete. Also, you must wait until the permit has been approved and issued before beginning any work.
As long as there is no change to the type or pitch of the roof and the trusses are not being touched, re-roof permits are over-the-counter. Otherwise, you will want to speak with our Permit Tech about your project.
For over-the-counter permits, submit your Re-Roof Permit and be prepared to pay the re-roof permit fee as listed on page 2 of the permit.
You can find our code in several places on our website:
Fireplace insert permits fall under the category of Mechanical Permits. Fireplace insert permits are issued over-the-counter. You only need to submit one form, the Mechanical Permit Application and a site map.
If you are installing new lines you will need to include the fee for adding the lines. More clearly stated:
These fees are listed on the second page of the permit application.
When you come in to submit the permit, bring with you a completed Mechanical Permit Application and site map and be prepared to pay the fees appropriate to your situation.
You only need to apply for a remodel permit if you are moving walls, changing or tapping into existing plumbing or need the modification to be noted for banking (selling, purchasing, etc.) or other legal purposes. Your permit may qualify for over-the-counter processing if no bedrooms are proposed to be added. Please review our Application Packets page for more details on the remodel application requirements.
The homeowner is responsible to submit all permits, but contractors often include it as a convenience for their clients. Check with your contractor to see if they plan to submit for you or not.
Yes, electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities need to be installed above the flood plain. Pursuant to UDC 15.15.080 Provisions for flood hazard reduction section (1)(b)(iii), "electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air-conditioning equipment and other service facilities shall be designed and/or otherwise elevated or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding. Locating such equipment below the base flood elevation may cause annual flood insurance premiums to be increased."
The minimum height for a deck before it requires a rail is 30 inches.
For installing road name signs, call Public Works' shop at (360) 385-0890. For all other sign questions please complete a CAM request form and send to DCD.
If you have property off of a named road, you may optionally name it at any time. You MUST name your road if your road extends more than 1,000 feet from a named road and/or if the road has four or more assigned emergency locator numbers on it.
The forms below will assist you in the road naming process:
Please contact the Department of Community Development for a list of current road names in use.
The cost to the petitioner to name a road is $428.40. If there are emergency locator number already assigned to adjoining parcel owners that will be serviced by the road, there will be no additional cost to have their address changed to the new road name. If there are adjoining parcel owners that are not currently assigned an emergency locator number and they would like one, the cost is $115 for each emergency locator number assigned (new addresses are typically $276).
If you would like to demolish a building, you will need to submit a Demolition Form to both Community Development and Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).
If you choose to demo, please complete the following steps:
The documents required to build a garage are the same as a regular building permit, but we only need the items that apply to your project. Here are the exact forms and documents required for a complete submittal of a Garage Permit Application:
Forms and documents required for a complete submittal of a Garage Permit Application:
If you are going to put plumbing in the garage then you will need to comply with Environmental Health’s requirements with septic/sewage.
For an estimate of permit fees send an email to email@example.com stating the square footage, estimated cost of the project, and the project description.
Most permits have the fees listed on the back of the application. If your application does not list the fees, or if you need an estimate for new building application we can provide you with an estimate of those fees.
Please email the project info listed below to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fences are exempt from building permits if they are under 7 feet high and not on shoreline (or in an area with critical areas). This information can be found on the 2nd page of Brochure #30: Single Family Residence: https://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/627/Single-Family-Residence-PDF?bidId=
Fences cannot be built within the County right-of-way. If the property line is close to a road, Public Works would most likely require the clear zone be met as we do for utility structures (poles, vaults, etc.). For example, on a 25 mph road, the setback would be 10 feet from the edge of pavement. Additionally, a fence cannot block site distance. Setback information can be found here: https://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/618/Residential-Setbacks-PDF?bidId=
A fence, no matter what the material, is still a fence over seven feet. For example, a barbed wire fence in a pasture that is 5' high and all barbed wire and posts is still a fence. The intent of the code though is concerned with the fence over 7' high becoming a sail or just falling over and causing more damage than a 5' high fence made of the same material.
When reviewing a request for a new address, we check to see whether or not the location of the requested address is off of an unnamed road or not. If an address application is received for a site on an unnamed road that is more than 1,000 feet from a named road or for a site on an unnamed road that has an existing addressed site that is more than 1,000 feet from a named road, or if an application is received for a fourth emergency locator number on an unnamed road The road shall be named at the expense of the applicant. You can learn more about the road naming process at the following links:
Yes! Birth control and women’s health is our specialty and we are happy to provide complete information about all types of birth control. You can choose to just discuss information, or you can start a method right away.
No. We start women on birth control right away. We also evaluate the need for recommended testing and exams and will discuss this with you.
Usually not. Recommendations have recently changed, and if your last few pap smears were normal, your next pap smear will be due 3 years later. We still recommend yearly annual exams, to check blood pressure, health needs and STD screening but pelvic exam may not be needed each year.
We welcome people of all genders at all of our clinics.
No, this is dependent on the circumstances surrounding the death.
Death certificates are generated by your funeral home or cremation service. Your funeral director or cremation service director will assist you in obtaining death certificates. Death certificates may also be obtained from the Jefferson County Health Department. https://www.jeffersoncountypublichealth.org/739/Birth-Death-Records
Only if you are next of kin, to the deceased. We require to see valid picture ID before releasing the report. If you are next of kin, and are unable to come in person, please call 360-385-9182. You will need to make a color photo copy of your ID/Driver’s License and send to us.
Preliminary information is usually available at the end of the procedure or by the next working day. Final autopsy reports become ready after the results of toxicology and any other special examinations have been received. Typically, this may take up to 1-1/2 months. Complex cases may sometimes take up to 3 months before a final report is complete.
No, a time range for post mortem interval is usually all that is possible.
Click here for current openings.
Send completed employment application form to the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners by 4:30 pm of the listed announcement closing date. Applicants are always highly encouraged to submit a resume with their application.
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus (Scroll to bottom of the page for FAQs)
Yes. Thomas Locke, MD, MPH, Jefferson County Health Officer, issued a Masking Directive on May 28, 2020.
Effective June 26, a statewide order requires individuals to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces such as stores, offices and restaurants. The order also requires face coverings outdoors when you can’t stay 6 feet apart from others. For more information: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/face-masks-or-cloth-face-covering
Jefferson County residents have done a remarkable job in reducing transmission of COVID-19. There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Jefferson County since April 9 and there have been no patients with this infection admitted to Jefferson Healthcare. We now know that community mitigation measures are an effective emergency tool for controlling this pandemic. Next we need to learn how to dial back these mitigations while continuing to control transmission of coronavirus. -Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County Health Officer April 29, 2020
The Washington Department of Health and the FDA have said there is no evidence that Coronavirus is spreading through food or food packaging at this time. The very best practice is to make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before eating or handling food. Disinfecting food is not recommended. For the guidance from the FDA please visit this link: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions#food .
Here is guidance from the Department of Health on how to best protect yourself from Coronavirus: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/NovelCoronavirusFactSheet.pdf
Social distancing is what will work to protect you. Additional information about existing cases will not tell you if people you encounter or things you touch could potentially expose you to COVID-19.
Public health case investigation of a confirmed case is very thorough and identifies persons or settings when and where significant exposure may have occurred. Identified contacts are informed and given guidance on what to do and symptoms to look for.
There are multiple diseases that are circulating in the community that have symptoms similar to COVID-19. In addition, there continue to be cases in the community that exhibit mild illness and never seek care, or are unable to get confirmatory tests. Even a person who tests negative one day might be infected the next, with or without symptoms.
It is safest for everyone to protect themselves by social distancing. Limit exposure to other people (6 ft distance is recommended), avoid contact with people who are ill, wash your hands, and avoid touching your face. Guidance is available for persons who are caring for sick loved ones at home.
It is also important to know that Jefferson County Public Health and Social Services must comply with Washington State laws protecting medical confidentiality. By law, we can only release limited information about cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines ’close contact’ as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes or more); close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case OR having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
Events and rapid changes happening around COVID can be stressful. There are a few resources that can help.
SARS CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 infection, has been spreading in the United States since the beginning of 2020. There is still much that is uncertain about this pandemic infection but it is known that the main way it is spread is through respiratory droplets and aerosols. Masks provide an effective form of “source control”, catching respiratory secretions before they can spread to other people. We have also learned that many people who have COVID-19 do not have symptoms (asymptomatic cases) or are infectious for several days before they develop symptoms (presymptomatic cases). This means that people can carry and spread the virus without knowing they are infected. This does not appear to be a rare occurrence and may, in fact, be the major way the virus is spread. Masking (to prevent spread of infectious respiratory particles) and physical distancing (to lessen risk of exposure to airborne particles) are the best currently available strategies for controlling asymptomatic and presymptomatic spread of coronavirus. Until we have something better, we have to rely on these basic strategies to prevent as many cases of COVID-19 as we can.
Different types of masks provide different levels of protection to their users. Simple cloth masks are the least effective at filtering the air that is inhaled. Depending on their fit and the fabric type used in their construction, they do provide some filtering effect. Their greatest value is to trap respiratory droplets and aerosols that are exhaled, preventing the exposure of others to any potentially infectious particles we might breath or cough out. Medical masks (surgical and N-95) provide more filtration and user protection from inhaled aerosols. Fit tested N-95 masks (used in high risk health care settings) offer the highest level of protection. Unfortunately, medical masks are in short supply, especially N-95 masks, and their use for health care workers and first responders is prioritized.
The coronavirus pandemic presents many unprecedented challenges. Health care workers and first responders have been asked to put their health on the line, often with inadequate supplies of personal protective equipment like medical masks. They have done this heroically and at great person cost. More than 60,000 health care workers have been infected with COVID-19 and almost 300 have died. Essential workers have been on duty since the beginning of the pandemic, also taking risks for the benefit of others. Non-medical personnel have their part to play in controlling this pandemic as well. One of thing we can all do is to wear masks in indoor public places and outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Some people want to look at mask wearing solely as a matter of personal risk – if a person wants to go mask free, they willingly take the risk. But it’s not that simple. If they are unwittingly infected with COVID-19 they are putting other people at risk as well. In an infectious disease pandemic, our personal choices have public health consequences.
We are in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. It will likely be another year or longer before it is under control. Most scientific research on masks as a communicable disease control strategy were done for the control of influenza, including the 4 influenza pandemics which have occurred over the last 100 years. Scientific studies support the value of masks as both a source control strategy (i.e. worn by people with acute influenza infection) and for worker protection (for health care workers taking care of hospitalized influenza patients). Not all studies shown benefit and there is ongoing uncertainty. Several recent U.S. studies have indicated that simple cloth masks are an effective source control strategy and this has led the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and a growing number of state and local health officials to recommend masks as part of a comprehensive pandemic coronavirus control strategy. (06/08/2020)
There is a high level of interest in getting vaccinated by the groups being vaccinated first. They are on the front line of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response, which gives them the highest risk of exposure and one of the most important pandemic response jobs -- testing for infection and treating those who are infected. It is yet to be seen how interested other priority groups will be. Interest seems to be high in senior citizens and those with serious health conditions, both of whom are at increased risk of COVID-19 complications. Some people believe the pandemic is a hoax or, at worst, no worse than seasonal influenza. And there is a strong anti-vaccination movement in the U.S. and Jefferson County has more than its share of "anti-vaxxers". Hopefully they will see that widespread vaccination is essential to bringing the pandemic to an end.
A community masking policy that depends on criminal penalties and punitive enforcement is doomed to failure. If we cannot come together as a community and accept the mild inconvenience of having to wear masks in public places, then we are unlikely to successfully rise to the challenge that this public health emergency presents. Masking does not have to be 100%. Some people cannot wear masks due to age or an underlying medical condition. Some people will refuse to wear masks as a political statement or to show their opposition to public health authority. Not everyone is a responsible member of society. For those who are concerned about the welfare of others and who accept the concept that the choices we make effect the health and safety of others, use of cloth masks in public is a way to protect fellow community members. When they do the same, they are protecting us. The more people who wear masks in situations where airborne spread of coronavirus can occur, the safer those places become. Even those not wearing masks benefit from the inconvenience others have accepted on their behalf.
On May 28, 2020 I issued a masking directive for the citizens of Jefferson County. It gives business owners the authority to exclude unmasked individuals from publicly accessible places unless they meet one of the directive’s exemptions. I am not requiring businesses or community members to enforce this directive. I am giving them the opportunity to use this public health authority to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers. We need to give ourselves a chance to act like responsible adults and engaged citizens. Some community members cannot wear masks due to medical or psychological conditions. They should not be stigmatized or made to feel unwelcome. It is reasonable to ask an unmasked individual to put on a face covering while in an indoor environment or outdoors in close proximity to others. If they state they have a medical exemption, this should be accepted in good faith. If they refuse on ideological grounds, they can be asked to leave the private business. If they become belligerent or threatening, they are creating a nuisance and law enforcement can be called to assist. Increasingly, indoor masking will become the social norm.
Neither public health authority or individual rights are absolute, they must be in balance. Public health codes exist to protect everyone (including the person who feels their rights are being violated). They balance the rights of individuals against the right of everyone to be free from a preventable health threat. A person with a contagious disease might feel aggrieved by a public health order that keeps them in isolation for the duration of their illness but that order protects other people from being exposed and infected with that disease. In the case of masking, people are being required to protect each other. If it were solely a matter of personal risk, it would be much simpler – everyone could take whatever risk they want without effecting anyone else (like mountain climbing or downhill skiing). Public health is seldom simple. The “personal” risk you take can also affect the risk you are imposing on others. In the case of pandemic coronavirus, these risks can be substantial. A health young adult may feel that they can weather a case of COVID-19 without difficulty. If they spread it to an elderly relative with chronic health issues the outcome could be tragically different. For those who want to see wearing masks in public during this pandemic as yet another front in the bitter and divisive “culture war” that is engulfing America, I urge them to satisfy your need for political conflict elsewhere. COVID-19 is real, not a hoax. People are getting sick and dying. It will get worse before it gets better. Accepting the minor inconvenience of wearing a cloth mask is not too much to ask to protect community health. Refusing to wear a mask (if you otherwise don’t have a legitimate age or medical reason) is not a bold political statement. It’s selfish and self-centered.
There are three different directives that compel use of masks to prevent coronavirus transmission that effect Jefferson County residents:
1) Governor Inslee’s proclamation that covers employers and employees,
2) the Jefferson County Health Officer’s directive on mask use, and
3) the requirements of individuals businesses for public access to their private business (“No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service”).
The Governor’s proclamation requires that employers and employees wear cloth masks in indoor settings (unless alone in a separate room) and in outdoor settings where a 6-foot physical distance cannot be maintained. Enforcement is through Labor and Industries occupational health regulations and penalties are strict.
The Health Officer’s directive of May 28, 2020 requires individuals not meeting one of its 5 exemptions to wear a face covering when in indoor public settings or outdoor public locations when a 6-foot physical separation cannot be maintained. Additionally, businesses are directed to not allow non-employees to enter or remain inside a building without a mask, except under certain circumstances.
And finally, businesses are free to set reasonable health criteria for people entering their buildings. Costco and Goodwill require customers to wear masks as a matter of corporate policy. Hospitals and clinics require patient and visitors to wear facial masks. This is a growing trend.
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is still in its early stages. Outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths will continue until a vaccine is developed or effective antiviral medications are discovered. Washington State is attempting a phased reopening of businesses and community activities in what is known as the Safe Start Washington Plan. This reopening will inevitably increase the risk of coronavirus transmission. Jefferson County is currently in Phase 2 of this reopening plan, allowing restaurants and other businesses to partially reopen. If we are able to prevent surges of COVID-19 during this phase, Jefferson County will be eligible for further reopening of businesses, movie theatres, museums, libraries, and other community functions. Successful reopening is by no means guaranteed. The public health and medical systems have spent the last 10 weeks preparing for the increase in COVID-19 that will occur when community life resumes and summer travelers flock to the area. These systems can only react to new infections – treating disease complications and trying to limit the community spread of infection. The only thing that can PREVENT new cases of COVID-19 is widespread community implementation of the things we have learned are effective control strategies – physical distancing, masking, hand hygiene, disinfection of surfaces, cough etiquette, and staying home (and getting tested) at the earlies signs of COVID-like illness. These actions are the “make it or break it” activities that will determine whether we move forward to a reopened community or we succumb to the outbreaks and hospital surges we have tried so hard to prevent.
Those who see masking as a burdensome nuisance and something they just “don’t believe in” fail to see the severity of the situation we are in. Those who insist on seeing this pandemic through the “us against them” lens of partisan politics fail to see that there is no “them”. It’s only “us”. The pandemic coronavirus is indifferent to political ideology or social status. It sickens and kills whether we believe in it or not. Communities have come together and paid a heavy economic cost to “flatten the curve” and buy ourselves more time to respond to the pandemic. Now we are called to action and must see if we can come together as a community and successfully deal with the worst public health threat of the last century. Masking is a small but crucial part of this pandemic response plan. (06/08/2020)
People who recover from COVID-19 (which is over 99% of people who get it) seem to have at least temporary immunity from reinfection. Studies have shown that antibody levels developed during infection decline rapidly and may not be protective after 90 days. There may be other elements of immunity (“cellular immunity”) that persist longer. Studies done on survivors of the 2003-04 SARS epidemic (a close viral cousin of the current pandemic strain) developed immunity that lasted 1-3 years. The Centers for Disease Control now recommends that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and are re-exposed to the infection within 90 days do not need to go into quarantine again. If re-exposure occurs after 90 days, repeat quarantine and testing is necessary.
If it turns out naturally derived immunity is short-lived, this does not mean an effective vaccine is impossible. Vaccines are capable of inducing a more robust and longer lasting immunity than natural infection. Only time will tell how long naturally acquired COVID-19 immunity will last. Likewise, when vaccines are developed, only studies spanning many years will answer the question of persistence of immunity.
Yes. Overall health is very important in maintaining a strong immune system that can deal effectively with the COVID-19. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and high-quality sleep are especially important. There is some evidence that people with low levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of more severe COVID infections. Vitamin D is produced when our skin is exposed to sunlight. It is also used to fortify various foods (like milk) and can be take in supplement form. Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity are all linked to increased COVID-19 complications. These are all conditions that can be prevented or improved through a good diet and exercise program. People whose diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease that is well controlled are less likely to have complications than those who have poor controlled disease.
The term "people outside your household" means anyone you don’t live with. This includes close family members you don’t currently live with.
Saying no is never easy, but there are ways to make it a little easier—both to say and to hear. Start with acknowledging the invite (“Thank you for thinking of me...I will miss you”). Second, keep the “no” short and sweet with no excuses (“No thank you, I don’t feel comfortable with this type of gathering right now”). And finally, if it feels right for the situation, suggest an alternative way to hang out (“could we take a walk just the two of us next week?”).
The Washington State Department of Health is developing a web application that will list priority groups and when each group is eligible for vaccination. The need to wait in line is due to the high demand and limited supply of the vaccine. By early Summer there is expected to be ample vaccine. Jefferson County Public Health will also post updated eligibility information at our website: Jeffersoncountypublichealth.org.
Do your best to communicate that your decisions aren’t personal – it’s a precaution taken out of love. Explain that you will miss the traditional holiday gathering and look forward to getting together again in the future. If you like, you can also suggest some online alternatives that everyone can participate in safely – we have a few ideas that might help.
Washington State is expecting 164,775 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 172,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to arrive by 12/29. Both vaccines require two doses (spaced 3 weeks apart for the Pfizer vaccine and 4 weeks apart for the Moderna). This means almost 337,000 Washingtonians can begin their vaccine series this month. An equivalent amount will be needed next month to complete the series. In Jefferson County, we expect over 1,000 health care workers, first responders, and long term care facility staff and residents to have their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December.
The safety of the place you plan to gather depends on three things. 1) Is it outside or inside? Outside is safer. 2) Is there room to space everyone six feet (2m) apart? 3) Is everyone wearing masks? Outside is safer than inside but it is not risk-free. If you don’t have enough room for people to spread out, it’s not a place that you should gather.
It can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.
No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.
Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you don’t have an increased risk of developing severe complications. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and viral vector vaccines.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, which teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different, harmless virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells to start building protection. The instructions are delivered in the form of genetic material. This material does not integrate into a person’s DNA. These instructions tell the cell to produce a harmless piece of virus that causes COVID-19. This is a spike protein and is only found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. This triggers our immune system to recognize the virus that causes COVID-19 and to begin producing antibodies and activating other immune cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection. Learn more about how viral vector vaccines work.
At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection from COVID-19. That immune response and the antibodies that our bodies make protect us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Learn more about vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
The ingredients in currently available COVID-19 vaccines include mRNA, lipids, salts, sugars, and buffers. Buffers help maintain the stability of the pH solution. Vaccine ingredients can vary by manufacturer. To learn more about the ingredients in authorized COVID-19 vaccines, see
The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States. Vaccination providers can be reimbursed for vaccine administration fees by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay a vaccine administration fee.
No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.
Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.
Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
If appointed you will be given the business card of your attorneys office and advised to contact them ASAP. They will not contact you.
A family or household member is defined as: - Spouse, former spouse, persons who have a child in common - Adult persons related by blood or marriage - Adult persons who presently (or in the past) reside(d) together - Persons 16 years and older who have or had a dating relationship - Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship
This order, which is issued by a judge, prohibits the person charged with a crime from contacting the victim of crime by phone, letter, or through third party, including messages through friends and relatives. Any violation is a gross misdemeanor and often arrest is mandatory.
The order for protection generally is granted for one year. However, it can be issued for longer than 1 year under certain circumstances. A victim may request that an order be renewed before it expires. At any time prior to the expiration date, the petitioner may make a request to the court to modify or terminate the order.
The order prohibits contact by the respondent, restrains the respondent from committing further acts of violence, excludes the respondent from the petitioner's residence, school, or workplace, etc. The respondent may be arrested or issued a citation for violation of this order.
If the order is violated, the respondent may be arrested and/or charged with a gross misdemeanor. There can also be contempt charges.
A person arrested for a domestic violence offense will usually be held in jail until he/she appears before a judge, usually the following day. The Court may require a defendant charged with domestic violence to sign a No Contact Order as a condition for release from jail prior to trial.
You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored. If you are in doubt about your eligibility for jury service, you may contact the Jury Manager:Jefferson County District CourtP.O. Box 1220Port Townsend, WA 98368Phone: 360-385-9131
Prior to your term starting, please inform the Jury Manager if you have a physical or mental infirmity which prevents you from serving. You will likely be instructed to have your medical provider send written notice to the court for either a temporary or permanent excusal.
Jury ManagerJefferson County District CourtP.O. Box 1220Port Townsend, WA 98368
Always call the Jury Information Line at (360) 385-9131 after 4:00 pm on the business day before the trial is scheduled to begin to confirm whether or not to appear.
A small claims case may be filed in Jefferson County if that is the defendant's residence, or in the case of a traffic accident, or an unlawfully issued check, if the accident occurred or the check was issued in Jefferson County. The State of Washington may not be sued in Small Claims Court. A Notice of Small Claim form is provided by the Court. The clerk will assist with this procedure, but the clerk is prohibited by law from giving legal advice. At the time of filing, the plaintiff must pay a filing fee of $50 in Jefferson County. The plaintiff is then given an appearance date and a copy of the claim form to be served upon the defendant. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to accurately identify the defendant (either as an individual, a corporation, or as an individual or a corporation doing business under another name), provide a proper address (for the defendant) and, if possible, provide the defendant’s telephone number.
You may file your small claim action in the Jefferson County District Court if the corporation does business in Jefferson County, the corporate office is located in Jefferson County, or the Registered Agent is located in Jefferson County. (RCW 4.66.040(6)). When completing the Notice of Small Claim form you should list the corporation name and the office address or the name and address of the Registered Agent.
Service on a corporation is obtained by serving the Registered Agent, Corporate President, Secretary, Treasurer, Managing Agent, or the Secretary or Office Assistant of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Managing Agent. (RCW 23A.08.110; 23A.32.200; 4.28.080(9)).
You may file your small claim against a partnership or sole proprietorship in Jefferson County District Court, if one of the partners or sole proprietor resides in Jefferson County, or if the business is located in Jefferson County.
If agreement is reached the parties will sign an agreement which will be entered into the record. Parties will receive a copy of the agreement. No judgment will be entered. If the agreement is breached, the non-breaching party may return to the Court for judgment after filing a motion and affidavit setting forth the failure to comply with the terms of the agreement. A copy of this motion and affidavit MUST be served on the other party and proof of that service presented to the Court prior to the Court entering a judgment.
If the plaintiff fails to appear at first appearance, a dismissal will be entered. In cases where the defendant has filed a written counterclaim against the plaintiff and proof of service is presented, the defendant may be allowed judgment against the plaintiff on the counterclaim. If the defendant fails to appear and proof of service is presented, and if the plaintiff’s testimony supports the claim, the plaintiff will be granted a default judgment against the defendant up to the amount set forth in the Notice of Small Claim form and for costs of filing and service. If neither party appears the case will be dismissed without prejudice.
Be polite, not just to the judge, but also to your opponent. Do not interrupt. Whatever happens, keep your temper. Good manners and an even temper help the fair, efficient conduct of the trial and make a good impression.
Other fees may be required by the Superior Court Clerk or County Auditor. When this is done, it places a lien against all real estate in the name of the judgment debtor that is located in the county. When the judgment has been paid in full you must send written notice to the District Court that the judgment has been satisfied.
To be eligible you must meet the following conditions:You must have a valid license.You have not received a deferral in the past 7 years, from any court in the State of Washington, moving or non-moving. You do not possess a commercial driver's license.Your infraction is not one of the following: Speeding 25 mph over the limit or more, Speeding in a School Zone or Speeding in a Construction Zone.
The only other way to keep a traffic citation off of your record is if it is dismissed in by a Judge at a hearing (either in-person or written).
*If you are unable to pay in full at the time your Deferral is granted please contact the court staff for a payment plan at (360) 385-9135 or come in person to the District Court office.
If you receive an infraction for failure to display proof of liability insurance and you were insured at the time of the infraction, you may file proof of your insurance with the court along with a $25 administrative fee, and the infraction will then be dismissed and not go on your driving record. If you have had multiple past insurance infractions, please check with the clerks office to determine the amount of your administrative fee. If you obtained insurance after you were issued the infraction, you may request a mitigation hearing to explain the circumstances and show your insurance proof to the judge. The judge generally reduces the penalty substantially. However, you must respond as described above within the 15 days required by your notice of infraction.
Send completed employment application form to the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners by 4:30 pm of the listed announcement closing date. Applicants are always highly encouraged to submit a resume with their application.
Check here for current job openings.
No, we use the terms interchangeably.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define cloth face coverings as fabric coverings including cloth face masks, scarves and bandana coverings, or any homemade face covering made of cotton fabric.
The CDC also makes clear that cloth face coverings should:
You can find more information on the CDC’s website.
There has been limited research on the efficacy of cloth face coverings in preventing spread of COVID-19, but studies have shown that well-made face coverings that fit snugly against the wearer’s chin and face, have multiple layers, and do not impede the wearer’s ability to breathe may reduce the transmission of large respiratory droplets. Learn more about the science behind face coverings here.
Yes, the Health Officer Directive gives business owners the authority to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers.
Face coverings are not directed to be worn when:
It’s recommended to have a face covering with you and ready to use when in public for times when maintaining physical distancing is not possible.
Transparent face shields aren’t a direct substitute for face coverings because they don’t protect others. Droplets released when someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks can be dispersed through the sides and bottom of the shield. Shields are useful for protecting the wearer from other people’s sneezes and coughs.
Absolutely not. A “medical exemption” is a statement from a licensed health care provider that says a person is unable to wear a mask due to medical or mental health problems. It does not give a person permission to transmit a dangerous infectious disease to other people. Common conditions like asthma, allergies, or chronic lung disease are not valid reasons for a “medical exemption”. They are actually strong reasons to wear masks as many of these chronic conditions are associated with increased risk of COVID-19 complications. People who have valid physical or psychological reasons that prevent them from wearing masks (facial deformities, panic disorders, developmental disabilities) are unable to go into places where masks are required. They should seek assistance from friends and family to help purchase essential foods and medication. Businesses are required to offer alternate ways of providing products and services such as curbside pick-up or home delivery.
Not being able to wear a mask in an occupational setting is a serious disability and prevents a person from being involved in any face-to-face encounters with customers or coworkers. Only jobs that can be performed alone in a room or outdoors greater than 6 feet away from others can be safely performed without a mask. A face shield is not a substitute for a face mask. The protective effect of a mask comes from its ability to trap respiratory droplets and aerosols (“source control”). Face shields offer good protection for the eyes but have no significant “source control” effect. We now believe that 40% or more of people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms but can still be highly infectious. This is why everyone must wear a mask while indoors or closer than 6 feet outdoors.
Yes. Face coverings should not be worn by children who are two years of age or younger, or children under the age of twelve unless supervised by an adult. Additionally, if wearing a face covering would be difficult or harmful, an individual should not do so. Examples would be someone who has a physical disability that makes it difficult to easily wear or remove a face covering; someone who is deaf and uses facial and mouth movements as part of communications; someone who has been advised by a medical professional to not wear one; or someone who has trouble breathing or cannot remove a face covering without assistance.
Members of the general public should not purchase medical grade or surgical masks at this time, as there is a serious shortage of face masks for health care workers. Medical masks should be reserved for health care providers who are on the front lines working to protect us all. Please avoid shopping for surgical, N95 respirator, or other medical masks.
Find out if you are eligible and how to apply, and make an appointment
Nurse-Family Partnership is free for women who are pregnant and have not parented before. When you enroll you will be connected to a registered nurse who will provide the support, advice, and information you need to have a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby and be a great mom. Learn more here.
Our public health staff has expertise in family and health issues. We are committed to supporting you in being the best parent that you can be so that all our Jefferson children get off to a good start, thriving in a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment. We offer support and education to pregnant women and parents of young children who are income-eligible.
Learn more here.
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Food items include fresh fruit/veggies, whole grain items such as bread or brown rice, beans/lentils, peanut butter, cheese, milk, eggs and juice. Eligible items change from pregnancy to after baby is born and as baby grows. See an overview of WIC foods. Learn more about the Jefferson County Public Health sponsored WIC program here.
WIC (Women Infants & Children) is a supplemental food program for income eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and children under age 5. WIC offers food vouchers, nutrition education, and health checkup screenings. Click here to learn more.
YES! The Public Health Department offers a number of options to help breastfeeding families get support and find their success:
Check out the links below to learn how you can access additional fresh fruit and veggies on a limited budget or alongside your WIC vouchers.
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We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit the National Suicide Lifeline website.
The GAL's role is to represent the best interests of the child. This may not always be the same as what the child wants. Volunteer GALs must be able to talk to everyone involved in a case and remain objective in their recommendations. While there will be ongoing contact with a child, the GAL's role is not to become a mentor, but to be an advocate for what they believe is in the child's best interest for finding a permanent home.
We accept cash, a check from the registered owner or debit/credit cards for an additional convenience fee and are accepted until 4:00pm.
Debit/Credit cards are only accepted at the vehicle/vessel licensing counter until 4:00pm. A convenience fee applies.
Registered owners may authorize a representative to purchase vehicle or vessel registration by (1) power of attorney or (2) with written permission such as a note containing the following: the name and signature of the registered owner and the vehicle/vessel plate or registration number. Payment must be made with cash, debit/credit, or a check from the registered owner.
No. Drivers Licensing is located at 2300 S. Park Ave. Port Townsend. Their phone number is(360) 385-0378. You can get more information at www.dol.wa.gov
The following named officers and persons, active or retired, are hereby authorized to solemnize marriages, to wit: Justices of the supreme court, judges of the court of appeals, judges of the superior courts, supreme court commissioners, court of appeals commissioners, superior court commissioners, judges of courts of limited jurisdiction as defined in RCW 3.02.010, judges of tribal courts from a federally recognized tribe, and any regularly licensed or ordained minister or any priest, imam, rabbi, or similar official of any religious organization. The solemnization of a marriage by a tribal court judge pursuant to authority under this section does not create tribal court jurisdiction and does not affect state court authority as otherwise provided by law to enter a judgment for purposes of any dissolution, legal separation, or other proceedings related to the marriage that is binding on the parties and entitled to full faith and credit.
The fee for a certified copy of your marriage certificate is $3.00 per copy. You can obtain the copy in person or by mail. The other option, is MOST marriage certificates are available to purchase online through the Washington State Digital Archives. Please visit www.digitalarchives.wa.gov
Each landowner is responsible for the noxious weed species outlined in the County weed list of 2016. The weeds on that list are classified as either Class A, B, or C which is indicated either behind the common names or in the list titles. Class A weeds are the highest priority and are required for eradication meaning you have to remove all plant matter immediately. Class B weeds are required for control meaning you have to prevent it from reproducing (which is most effectively done through eradication). Class C weeds are not recommended for control but not required.
If you are concerned about weeds on another property, please feel free to contact us and let us know. We can contact landowners and help them with management strategies and inform them of the legal issues.
For more information, check out the
In general, if your current order of child support was entered more than 24 months ago and your incomes have changed, your case may be ready for a review. Individuals who have signed an application requesting non-assistance support enforcement services from the DCS can request that the agency review an order of child support for possible modification or adjustment. Apply for DCS non-assistance support enforcement services
Once a DCS case has been opened, a Request to Review an Order of Child Support form 9-741 can be made. Completed forms should be sent to:
Division of Child Support
PO Box 11520
Tacoma, WA 98411-5520
At the time you mail in the form, you must also provide the following information:
1. Recent Wage Stubs
2. A completed Financial Declaration
3. Your last two years of tax returns
4. Financial Declaration (available at Washington Courts website)
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office cannot process a modification or adjustment unless the case is referred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office by DCS. You cannot request a modification or adjustment directly from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
After a referral by DCS, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will decide whether your case meets our criteria for filing a petition or motion with the court. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office reviews the information supplied by the parties prior to filing. The case can be tracked one of two ways:
1. The case may be filed as a Petition for Modification. This is the more expansive option for reviewing the order. With a Petition for Modification, the court can review all facets of the child support order unless specifically prohibited by language in the underlying order. The court can address the issue of tax exemptions, college costs, and changes to health insurance. Modifications are the preferred choice if one or both parties is self-employed to allow additional time for the exchange of discovery. If your current Order of Child Support is from outside Jefferson County and/or outside the state of Washington, your case must be filed as a modification. Modifications take place approximately 3 months after the case has been filed.
2. The case may be filed as a Motion for Adjustment of Child Support. Order These cases are handled in a more streamlined manner. The Court can review updated incomes for the parties and draft new orders with a new support amount. In a Motion for Adjustment of Child Support Order, the court cannot address tax exemptions, college costs, or healthcare insurance. These issues will default to the current language in your original order. The court can only adjust the child support payment. Adjustments take place approximately three months after filing.
It is imperative that our office has an updated address and phone numbers for both parties. As the case moves forward, you will receive numerous letters updating the status of your case and requesting additional information from you.
All income and resources of each parent’s household must be disclosed. The opposing party will receive copies of everything you submit. It is your responsibility to black out all of your social security numbers, bank account statement numbers, and other identifying numbers.
Please understand that even if our office declines to file your case at this time, you may always proceed on your own or resubmit it for review at a later time.
Generally, you should file a Response to Petition to Modify Child Support Order (FL Modify 502) and a Financial Declaration (FL All Family 011). These forms are available at the Washington Courts’ website. You must file a copy with the Jefferson County Superior Court and serve a copy on all parties, including the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Usually the Response must be filed and served within 20 days of you being served or accepting service.
It is recommended that you contact an attorney for legal assistance. Please see Resources below for other agencies which provide additional information, referral services, or pro bono legal services.
If you are unable to find an attorney for your case, online resources may be available to assist you in filling out the forms. Please see Washington Law Help for their Petition to Modify Child Support Order online packet.
If you oppose the motion, generally you should file a response to the motion. The response should indicate why you disagree with or object to the motion. You must file a copy with the Jefferson County Superior Court and serve a copy on all parties, including the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
You may also consider filing a financial declaration and supporting documents, such as paystubs or information to support your requests. The forms for responding to a Motion to Adjust Child Support Order can be found on the Washington Courts’ website.
If you are unable to find an attorney for your case, online resources may be available to assist you in filling out the forms. Please see Washington Law Help for their packet on responding to a Motion to Adjust Child Support Order.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office follows Chapter 26.19 RCW when proposing child support transfer payments. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office uses a standard calculation based upon statutory requirements for income, deviation, and child support tables. RCW 26.19.075 is the statute used to determine sources of income. RCW 26.19.020 is the statute used for deviations from the standard calculation.
If you want to request a deviation above or below the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office proposed child support transfer payment, you should follow the statutory requirements (RCW 26.19.020) and state your reasons in a sworn declaration (FL All Family 135), along with supporting documentation. The declaration is available at the Washington Courts’ website. You must file a copy with the Jefferson County Superior Court and serve a copy on all parties, including the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. You may also request a deviation during your hearing.
Many people ask if they have to come to court. The answer is that you are not under subpoena to appear in court and the Court will not issue a warrant if you do not attend. However, it is in your best interest to participate fully in this process and to come to court on the day of your hearing. Please plan on arriving 15 minutes before court is scheduled to begin. Please plan on setting aside half the day for the hearing.
The Jefferson County Superior Court hears modifications and adjustments on Fridays at 2:00pm. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will schedule the hearing and send notice to all parties through USPS mail. If you cannot attend the hearing, please contact the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and they will attempt to reschedule the hearing. Please contact them as soon as you learn you cannot attend the hearing. You can also request a continuance by filing paperwork with the Superior Court.
If you are planning to come to court, please let us know if you need any accommodations in terms of language interpreters or disability accommodations.
You will have a chance to address (talk to) the Judge or Commissioner during the hearing. Often, the parties are limited to five minutes. While some people choose to hire an attorney to represent them, many do not. You may find it helpful to write down the points that you want to convey to the Court.
If you plan on testifying at the hearing for a petition to modify child support order, you must file a Motion to Allow Testimony (About Modifying Child Support) (FL Modify 503) within 10 days of the hearing. The motion must be filed with the Jefferson County Superior Court’s Clerks Office and served on all parties, including the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. These forms are available at the Washington Courts’ website.
The court will make a final decision at the end of the hearing. You will know the result before you leave court.
Unfortunately, no childcare is available at the Courthouse.
It is very stressful to be in between jobs and our office recognizes that the whole family suffers when one parent is unemployed. Simply being unemployed, however, is not grounds for modifying your child support. If you are long-term unemployed due to an actual disability, the statute will allow us to modify your order if you have documented, medical proof of the disability and any benefits you receive.
While it may be to everyone’s long-term benefit for a parent to achieve a higher degree, the statute is very clear that parents are not excused from paying child support because they have returned to school. You will be expected to pay child support based on your last known wages.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office does not file parenting plan modification or establishment petitions. The Jefferson County Superior Court’s Clerk Office provides a family facilitator which can explain the family law process, identify forms, help schedule hearings, review paperwork for completeness, compute child support per provided income, and help with referrals to other agencies. They cannot provide legal advice or help fill out forms. This service is offered Wednesdays from 8:30am until 3:30pm on a walk-in basis. More information may be found at the Jefferson County Superior Court website or by contacting the Facilitator at (360) 385-9124.
Maybe. The statute may allow a paying parent to argue for a deviation (reduction) in child support if they are supporting another biological child. It is within the court’s discretion to grant this deviation for another child or not. The court considers other factors such as the ages of all the children, the total circumstances of both households, and the financial situation of the adults involved. If you want the Court to consider a deviation you must provide birth certificates for the children at issue as well as the financial information of the new spouse. If you believe a deviation is appropriate in your case, it is your responsibility to request a deviation in writing prior to your hearing. Please see the question above titled “What should I do if I need a deviation from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office proposed child support transfer payment?”
Yes, the court may order parents to pay their proportional shares of daycare and other special child rearing expenses. These expenses may include but are not limited to:
The court will consider each parent’s ability to pay for these expenses. The inclusion of these expenses depends upon the language in your underlying order, whether these costs are agreed upon by the parties, and the specific situation in each family.
If you would like to ask the court to address these expenses, you must make this request in writing and provide documentation of the expenses before the trial. Only under a petition to modify can these be changed. If your case is a motion to adjust, these cannot be changed.
The statute actually acknowledges that teenagers are more expensive than elementary school aged kids. If your child is over the age of 12, his or her portion of support is calculated at a higher amount in the child support software. This frequently is a strong consideration for modifying or adjusting your order. An updated pro rata share of expenses may also assist in paying for some after school activities, but this category of expenses is dependent upon the language in the original orders or by agreement of the parties in each individual case, unless it is a petition to modify, which may allow the court to modify the pro rata share of expenses. The court may also take into consideration driver’s education costs, SAT fees, and other affiliated senior year expenses
If you are seeking “Post-Secondary Support” or financial contribution toward college costs, you must file a modification before your child turns 18 or finishes high school. Please review the specific language in your existing order to determine your deadline. The Court will want to know the following information:
1. Your child’s grades
2. Where your child has applied/been accepted and the tuition cost
3. Whether or not the two parents both attended college themselves
4. Whether there was an expectation that the child attended college
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will not file this on your behalf. You must do this on your own. You can find all the forms you need on the Washington Courts’ website. The best time to file this motion is usually first semester of the child’s senior year in high school.
We expect people to do their best in filling out the required paperwork. We will not accept blank forms with your signature at the bottom. We are not allowed to give you legal advice, but we can answer questions if something is not clear to you. If you would like to set up a ten-minute appointment with the Support Enforcement Coordinator to assist you with the final touches on your paperwork, please (360) 385-9359.
Your safety is our primary concern. When filling out your paperwork, black out any address or identifying information you do not want shared with other parties.
Dove House Advocacy Services provides free, confidential crisis intervention and advocacy services to crime victims in Jefferson County, WA including survivors of domestic and sexual violence, fraud, and elder abuse. Dove House’s 24 Hour Crisis Line is 360-385-5291.
If you feel that your situation requires extra security in the courtroom, please let us know and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will make arrangements.
If you have not received payments for more than three consecutive months, your case may be reviewed for a contempt action. Please contact your DCS case worker, as the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office cannot begin a contempt action unless the case is referred to it by DCS. Once the case is referred the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will evaluate the case to determine if it can accept the case.
Copies of any order entered in Jefferson County may be obtained by contacting the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. We will always mail you a copy of your modified order within 7 business days of your court date.
All offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Seattle Child Support Office500 First Avenue SouthSeattle, WA 98104206-341-7000800-526-8658
Tacoma Child Support Office1949 South State Street, 3rd FloorTacoma, WA 98401253-597-3700800-345-9976
Everett Child Support Office840 North BroadwayEverett, WA 98201425-438-4800800-729-7580
Olympia Child Support Office
243 Israel Road, TC3 5th Floor
Tumwater WA 98501360-664-6900800-345-9964
Depending on the method of payment, receipt of payment may be delayed for two to four weeks.
If you ARE represented by counsel, you should contact your attorney for assistance and warrant quash procedures.
You may also turn yourself into the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, pay your bail amount plus a $60.00 fee. You will go through the normal booking process, released and be given a court date for the following week and you must show up for that court date.
Yes, you must attend your monthly contempt review hearings. If you fail to appear or fail to pay, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may request that the court issue a bench warrant. If you have complied with all the terms of your previous review hearing, such as making an on-time payment or work search requirements, you may contact the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to determine if they will agree to excusing your absence at the monthly review hearing. If you cannot attend your hearing and are not excused, please contact the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prior to 12:00pm on your court date to explain the reasons for your absence. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will make efforts to relay this information to the court; however, the court may still issue a bench warrant in limited cases.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may offer an obligor a contempt payment agreement, also known as a “soft contempt”. The contempt payment agreement requires the obligor to make a series of payments by certain dates. If the payments are made in full and on-time, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may return your contempt file to DCS and request that the court close your contempt file. You are still responsible for all current amount due, plus any past due amount. You will be required to coordinate with your DCS caseworker future payments. Generally, the contempt payment agreement gives the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office flexibility to enter into a unique agreement based upon your child support order, ability to pay, and other circumstances.
The DCS may suspend your license if you are behind in your child support payments. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office does not suspend any licenses and the decision to suspend rests solely with DCS. DCS can suspend any license issued by the State of Washington, including but not limited to:
If you owe child support you must sign a Repayment Agreement with DCS (or pay off the entire debt) to get your license back. Call DCS to ask about signing a repayment agreement and other options. In setting a repayment amount, DCS will look at your income and expenses, including the expenses of caring for any dependent children. You must provide DCS with complete information about your financial situation, including any extra expense you may have, including, but not limited to medical costs, costs for caring for a child who is disabled, etc. DCS may make you pay the first installment due under your repayment agreement before releasing your license. You must keep making your payments when due. If you do not make timely payments, DCS can suspend your license again.
The custodial parent is not required to appear at contempt hearings, although you are welcome to appear if you wish. Any information you would like the court to consider at the hearing, must be submitted to the court and the DCS Family Support Division in writing prior to the hearing in accordance with local court rules.
A Conference Board review is an informal hearing to resolve grievances with DCS. It is an internal dispute resolution process for contesting DCS actions. Individuals are able to address some issues that they are not able to get a decision from anywhere else, such as a grievance about a DCS worker, request for deferral, review of payroll withholdings that cause hardship, and most commonly a request for a charge-off or waiver (decision not to collect child support obligation). Many Conference Board requests are for a write off of back support assigned to the State. Only debt owed to Washington state may be written off – No exceptions. However, there may be other options available, such as a settlement agreement between the custodial and non-custodial parents for amounts owed to the custodial parent.
Under some circumstances, Conference Boards may also set the monthly payment rate on back support. In setting a repayment amount, DCS will look at the individuals’ income and expenses, including the expense of caring for any dependent children. Obligors must provide DCS with complete information about their financial situation, including any extra expenses they may have.
A person cannot be obligated to pay child support until they are legally declared to be a parent and they are listed on the child’s birth certificate. A father’s name is put on the birth certificate if:
If a father is already listed on the child’s birth certificate, the Division of Child Support (DCS) can set support administratively. If no father is named on the child’s birth certificate, then DCS may refer the case to the Family Support Division to establish paternity and set support through the Jefferson County Superior Court
A man is a "presumed father" of a child born during the marriage (or within 300 days of a divorce). Even though husband and wife might have been separated for a while and/or they know the husband is not the biological father of the child, the husband is still considered the "presumed father" until a court order is entered that says the husband is not the father or until another man is legally established as the father of the child.
A paternity affidavit is a legal document, signed by the mother and the father (and the presumed father if the mother was married when the child was born) which legally establishes the father, adds his name to the birth certificate and gives him potential rights (visitation) and responsibilities (child support) of being a father. While it is a quicker way to establish paternity than through the court process, it can be hard to undo if someone changes their mind. The mother and potential father should carefully read the paternity affidavit and make sure they know the consequences of signing a paternity affidavit.
If both the mother and father agree (and the child was born in Washington), they can sign a paternity affidavit and take it to the Division of Child Support, where it can be notarized and sent to the Department of Health in Olympia for filing.
For more information about establishing paternity via a paternity affidavit, visit the Division of Child Support (DCS) website or call DCS at 800-457-6202. They can send you the paternity affidavit and an informational booklet free of charge.
If the father has passed away, the Family Support Division cannot file a court action to establish paternity. Any lawsuit against a deceased person must be filed against the deceased person’s personal representative as part of a probate action. Our office does not handle probate actions.
In some very limited circumstances, we may be able to help get genetic testing done so that the child can get social security death benefits, if otherwise eligible. If the father of a child has recently passed away and you are interested in genetic testing, call our office: 360-385-9359
The Family Support Division of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office files court actions to establish paternity of children. You do not have to be on public assistance to qualify for this service. Our office will only file paternity cases which have been referred to us by the Division of Child Support. Contact DCS 1-800-457-6202 for information about starting a paternity action.
Our office will only do genetic testing when we have filed a court action to establish paternity. We do not do genetic testing in cases our office has not filed in court. However, if you have a paternity action filed in another county, but reside in Jefferson County, we may conduct the genetic testing on behalf of the other county, at their request. If you reside in another county, but have a pending Jefferson County paternity action, we may request that another prosecuting attorney’s office or lab complete your genetic testing.
If your name is on the birth certificate because:
…someone told the hospital that you were married to the mother but you were not actually married to the mother. Call the Division of Child Support at 1-800-457-6202 and tell them you want to do a "paternity establishment action."
...you were married to the mother. You are legally presumed to be the father until you get divorced and your divorce addresses paternity of the child in question or you file a "disestablishment action" Our office does not handle either type of court action. Since there are time limits on when you can seek to disestablish paternity, you should consult with an attorney.
. . . you signed a paternity affidavit. You must act within certain legal time limits if you want to undo a paternity affidavit. Our office does not handle rescissions or challenges to paternity affidavits. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible or if you want to try and look into it on your own, the legal time limits are in the statute called the Uniform Parentage Act, Chapter 26.26 RCW.
...a Court order established you as the father of a child. You have to bring a court action to "vacate" the court order. If our office was involved in the court order establishing you as the father we can review the case to figure out what, if anything, our office can do. Call our office at 360-385-9359 to discuss further.
Generally, you should file a Response to Petition to Decide Parentage (FL Parentage 302). These forms are available at the Washington Courts’ website. You must file a copy with the Jefferson County Superior Court and serve a copy on all parties, including the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Usually the Response must be filed and served within 20 days of you being served or accepting service.
It is recommended that you contact an attorney for legal assistance. If you are unable to find an attorney for your case, online resources may be available to assist you in filling out the forms. Please see Washington Law Help for their packet on responding to a Petition to Decide Paternity.
Usually the parties agree to genetic testing. If the parties do not agree to genetic testing, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will likely file a motion to obtain a court order to obtain genetic testing of the birth mother, child, and potential father. This motion is usually based upon an interview of the birth mother. The court will review the record and decide whether to order genetic testing.
Once an order requiring genetic testing is issued by the court, the parties will be required to come into the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office or another location to give a genetic sample. The sample will be sent to a lab for testing. Once the results are in, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will notify the parties. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will then file the genetic testing. If the potential father is confirmed as the genetic parent, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will usually request financial documents from the potential father to obtain propose a child support payment.
If you want to request a deviation above or below the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office proposed child support transfer payment, you should follow the statutory requirements (RCW 26.19.020) and state your reasons in a sworn declaration (FL All Family 135), along with supporting documentation. The declaration is available at the Washington Courts’ website. You must file a copy with the Jefferson County Superior Court and serve a copy on all parties, including the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. You may also request a deviation during your hearing or trial.
A parenting plan is not required to obtain a paternity judgment or child support. The paternity judgment will only state who is the custodial parent of the child (who the child resides with most of the time), unless the parties agree to a parenting plan. Usually the parenting plans are completed after the paternity judgment. However, the parties can obtain a parenting plan during the paternity process. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office does not take a position or become involved in parenting plans. The parties may come to an agreement over the parenting plan and file it with the court and serve copies on the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. If the parties are unable to agree to a parenting plan, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may suggest a temporary parenting plan.
The Jefferson County Superior Court’s Clerk Office provides a family facilitator which may assist with parenting plan issues, such as explaining the family law process, identifying forms, scheduling hearings, and reviewing paperwork for completeness. They cannot provide legal advice or help fill out forms. This service is offered Wednesdays from 8:30am until 3:30pm on a walk-in basis. More information may be found at the Jefferson County Superior Court website or by contacting the Facilitator at (360) 385-9124
It depends. Under RCW 26.26B.040, the court has the discretion to order back child support from the time the child was born to the issuance of the final orders. This period is limited to 5 years. However, there are many factors that go into awarding back child support. If the State of Washington has paid certain public assistance to the birth mother, it may be entitled to a portion or all of the back support for periods when the public support was paid. In those circumstances, the State of Washington through the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may request the back-child support, which will be due to the State if awarded. If there is no public assistance, the custodial parent may request back support as a part of the paternity action.
It depends on many factors, mostly whether or not people cooperate and follow through with what they are supposed to do. Most often cases are completed within 9 months by agreement, motion for summary judgment, or default (because one or both parties did not response). If the case proceeds to trial, it may take longer than 9 months.
No. The Family Support Division and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office do not represent either the mother or the father. The deputy prosecuting attorney in your case represents the State of Washington. You must retain an attorney if you want an attorney to represent you.
It is not legally binding for someone to admit verbally that he is the dad. If there is more than one possible father, genetic testing must be done. However, if there is only one possible father, he can admit he is the father but he must do it in writing, by completing a Response form, signing an Agreed Order Determining Parentage, or signing a Paternity Affidavit (see above). These forms can be found on the Washington Courts’ website.
The person taking the sample will ask you a few questions and rub a cotton swab (like a Q-Tip) inside your cheek. It takes a few minutes and does not hurt. Please bring picture identification.
No, genetic testing is free to all parties. The State pays for this service.
It depends on whether or not the mother and the father cooperate with genetic testing. If one or both do not cooperate, it can take months or longer. Once the mother, child and the father have been swabbed, genetic test results take 4-6 weeks. The results will be mailed to you. We cannot give you the results over the phone.
Once an order is entered establishing paternity, we will send a certified copy of the order to Vital Statistics and they will add the father’s name. It takes 6-8 weeks or longer. We will send you instructions on how to order a birth certificate when we send you a copy of the court’s order establishing paternity.
The Jefferson County Superior Court hears paternity cases on Fridays at 2:00pm. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will schedule the hearing and send notice to all parties through USPS mail. If you cannot attend the hearing, please contact the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and they will attempt to reschedule the hearing. Please contact them as soon as you learn you cannot attend the hearing. You can also request a continuance by filing paperwork with the Superior Court.
If you are planning to come to court, please let us know if you need any accommodations in terms of language interpreters or disability.
You will have a chance to talk to the Judge or Commissioner during the hearing. Often, the parties are limited to five minutes. While some people choose to hire an attorney to represent them, many do not. You may find it helpful to make a list of the things you want to tell the Court before coming to the courtroom.
If the other parent has not returned your child or violated your parenting plan in another way, call 911 and report the violation to your local police department. They may ask to see a certified copy of your parenting plan.
There is probably not much you can do until there is an actual a violation of the Court’s order. If your concerns are serious, you should have an attorney to represent you in this situation.
If you do not have an attorney, you can contact the Clallam - Jefferson County Pro Bono Lawyers at: 1-888-201-1014.
Yes, appointments are required for passport applications. Please call our office at 360-385-9116 to schedule.
The UPS Store and Mail Plus both offer passport photo services.
If you are eligible to use form DS-82 (Passport Renewal Form), you must submit through the mail.
Yes. The applicant must always be present.
Passport applications require two (2) forms of payment. 1. Must be Check or Money Order payable to Department of State. 2. Cash, Credit Card (a convenience fee applies) or Check made payable to Jefferson County Auditor.
No. The birth certificate must be certified and be issued by the state you were born in.
You can, but it must meet the passport photo requirements. For these requirements, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/photos.html
The State of Washington adopted the Growth Management Act (GMA) in 1990. The Growth Management Act (GMA) is a series of state statutes that requires cities and counties to develop a comprehensive plan to manage their population growth. It is codified under Chapter 36.70A RCW and Chapter 365-196 WAC. Under GMA, septic systems are not considered to be an urban service. Urban services, including municipal sewers, are required in order to have the type of development typically associated with urban areas. Jefferson County designated the Port Hadlock/Irondale area as an Urban Growth Area (UGA) because it was an area already “characterized by urban growth” (36.70A.110(1)).
The County adopted land uses and zoning that would allow additional urban development densities and intensities when public sewer connections are available. The urban zoning permitted under GMA when all urban services are available is contained in the Jefferson County Code (JCC) and allows for greater development density and more intensive land use. In the transition period until sewer connections are available, achievable densities are largely limited by the minimum space requirements needed to meet the on-site septic code, typically a 12,500 square foot lot. A sewer also takes up less property area than a septic tank, drain field, and reserve drain field, allowing development and redevelopment at urban densities.
The Table below has web links to land use and zoning maps, and JCC land use tables for both the current (without sewer) scenario and future (with sewer) scenario. By comparing the before and after condition, it is possible to see how a sewer would create more land use potential and land value in the Port Hadlock Urban Growth Area.
By referring to the maps and code sections in the table above, one can see from the Transitional Rural Zoning map that without sewer availability, much of Port Hadlock is covered by an interim zoning of Rural Residential RR-5. By way of example, RR-5 means that a 5-acre parcel could not be subdivided, and only one house and one Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) could be constructed on it. All land is subject to meeting separate septic regulations, so even smaller lots of record (lots that were subdivided prior to GMA) would typically need to be at least 12,500 square feet or a consolidation of a number of smaller lots to meet the minimum size requirement in order to be developed. This also means that in a best-case scenario, the current zoning would support 3 houses per acre if the property had been subdivided into minimum sized lots of 12,500 square feet prior to GMA. Alternatively, once a sanitary sewer is constructed, Port Hadlock has residential zoning of Low Density Residential (LDR 4-6 dwelling units per acre), Moderate Density Residential (MDR 7 to 12 units per acre) or High Density Residential (HDR 13 to 18 units per acre), making multifamily and apartment units possible in the MDR and HDR zones.
Without sewer, Port Hadlock’s commercial core has a Transitional Rural Zone of Rural Village Center (RVC). The commercial zone along SR 19 has a Transitional Rural Zone of General Crossroads. This allows for some small-scale commercial use but there are limitations on building size, height, and lot coverage. For example, under RVC zoning the maximum building size is 20,000 square feet and maximum building height is 35 feet. Alternatively, under Urban Commercial zoning with sewer, building size is dictated by site conditions with no specified maximum building size, and building height can be up to 70 feet to allow for and accommodate increased densities. There is also some Urban Light Industrial zoning in part of the UGA once a sewer is available.
Most of the buildings and businesses in Port Hadlock were developed prior to GMA and are primarily served by private septic systems. Although there is no “bright line” established in GMA regarding what residential densities are urban and what is rural, decisions from Growth Management Hearings Board cases in Jefferson County have accepted at least four (4) dwelling units per acre to be considered an urban density. A significant amount of the current development pattern in Port Hadlock had been planned around meeting the 12,500 square foot minimum parcel size for septic systems, and would not have been allowed under current GMA regulations. The existing uses are “grandfathered”, meaning that as long as no significant changes are proposed, the current uses can continue. Until a sanitary sewer facility is available, however, redevelopment of land to accommodate higher densities cannot occur.
In the meantime, property owners must inspect and maintain their septic systems in accordance with State and County law, and when these systems fail they must be replaced with a new septic system meeting the most current on-site septic waste treatment standards. The requirements related to septic system installation continue to become more stringent. In some cases when faced with replacing a failing septic system, property owners have had difficulty applying a conventional system under current site conditions and requirements and have had to install more expensive alternative systems at a much higher cost. Eventually, most property owners in Port Hadlock will be faced with performing a significant overhaul or complete replacement of their septic systems unless a sanitary sewer facility is constructed. This has prompted significant interest by some property owners in the UGA for a sanitary sewer facility.
Jefferson County designated the Port Hadlock/Irondale area as an Urban Growth Area (UGA) under the requirements of the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) to allow future growth at urban densities and promote higher density housing and commercial land use. The boundaries of the UGA are shown on this map.
In 2008, the County completed a Sewer Facility Plan for the UGA and adopted this plan as part of the County’s overall Comprehensive Plan. The Sewer Facility Plan showed a phasing plam for sanitary sewer development starting with the Port Hadlock “Core Area.” This is the area of mostly commercial development along State Route 116 (Ness’s Corner Road) and Chimacum Road.
Due to the challenges and high cost of starting a brand-new sewer system throughout the entire UGA at once, the County has been focusing its efforts on planning sewer availability first in the Port Hadlock Core Area, while at the same time making sure any sewer system that is put in place can be progressively expanded to serve future implementation phases and ultimately serve the entire UGA.
Significant interest in sewer service has come from property owners within the Port Hadlock Core Area. In 2018 property owners within the Core Area submitted a petition from over 100 of the parcel owners indicating support for sewer service. In response to this petition, the County commissioned a sewer feasibility study to determine whether newer technology and a different approach could be used to bring down the cost of the sewer for the initial service area in Port Hadlock. Information about the study and its results are reported in the Port Hadlock Wastewater System Value Engineering Review (May 2019.)
This study showed that there could be considerable cost-savings over the original 2008 plan by using a small, modular treatment plant employing newly available technology and by installing a pressurized collection system (pipes in the road) instead of a traditional gravity collection system. The County is currently pursuing this option further with members of a Sewer Working Group from Port Hadlock and is updating the Sewer Facility Plan to reflect this current vision for sewer service.
The diagram below shows the primary sewer system components. Starting at the home/business, these elements are:
Figure 1 - Wastewater System Elements
With the pressurized sewer system currently envisioned, the on-site elements are the pipes, control panel, grinder pump, and curb box (valve) that take sewage from the home/business to sewer collection pipes located in the public right of way (street). There may be loan programs available to assist property owners with this element. These costs will vary significantly depending upon factors such as the type of home/business being served, the distance to the street, and the type of restoration required (i.e. lawn, landscaping, or pavement). The grinder pump pushes sewage down the pipes towards the wastewater treatment plant. The pumps do require care and maintenance. To ensure that pumps are installed and maintained properly, the Department of Ecology will require that this part of the system be maintained by the sewer utility company even though it is located on private property. "An Introduction to Pressure Sewers," by the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA,) is a good source of information about pressure sewer systems.
Figure 2 - Typical On-Site Elements for a Residence or Small Business
The collection system consists of the pipes in the public streets that transport sewage to the sewage treatment plant. Current plans for Port Hadlock call for a low-pressure collection system which uses the grinder pumps at each home or business to push the wastewater through these lines to the sewer treatment plant. Because the lines are pressurized, they can run uphill and do not need to be buried more than 4 to 5 feet below the ground. There is more flexibility in the routing of pressurized sewer lines which can help avoid other existing utilities and deep manholes are not required. In some cases, pressurized collection lines can be installed using directional boring, a “trenchless” installation technique that requires very little excavation and disturbance. This installation method was used in Brinnon for the Dosewallips State Park sewer system, for example.
A pressurized sewer collection system can provide significant cost savings for initial installation compared to traditional “gravity” sewer lines which require deep excavations to make sure that sewage pipes flow downhill and use large lift stations to overcome hilly topography. When traditional gravity sewers are installed in streets and highways the installation and road restoration costs can be quite high. Pressurized sewer systems are often used for small sewer systems that have fewer users or in situations with hilly topography or high groundwater tables. Gravity sewers are more typical for larger municipal systems where over the long run the high initial installation cost can be offset by savings in maintenance and operations because grinder pumps are not needed at each home/business. The original plan for the Port Hadlock sewer called for a gravity collection system; however, because initial costs were so high and grants from the State and Federal government so hard to obtain, the County is now proposing to install a pressurized collection system to keep startup costs as low as possible in the initial sewer service area.
The wastewater treatment plant is where the collection system brings the sewage for treatment. After the sewage is processed, the resulting clean Class A wastewater is fed into an infiltration pond which will allow the water to recharge the aquifer in the Chimacum watershed. The sewer treatment process that has been approved by the Department of Ecology requires a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR). These MBR systems treat wastewater to very high standards required for infiltration on land since permitting a new sewer outfall into Puget Sound is virtually impossible. The current proposal is to use a pre-assembled modular MBR system that essentially arrives on a truck ready to go. There are other components that still have to be constructed along with the plant such as inlet screens and storage ponds; however, these modular systems have seen rapid technological advances in recent years that make them highly cost-effective and reliable. These units allow a sewer to start small and can be added onto as demand increases. This avoids the need to build a traditional sewer treatment plant that may have to be oversized initially to handle future demand. In nearby Port Gamble, one of these units was recently used with good results to replace their aging sewer plant that could no longer meet today’s water quality standards. An example of this system is shown below.
Figure 4 - Typical Pre-Assembled Modular MBR Treatment Plant
After passing through the MBR process, treated water is piped to a rapid rate infiltration pond where it quickly soaks into the ground. Thickened sludge at the treatment site is hauled off-site to a larger sewer treatment plant where it is eventually processed into compost such as at the City of Port Townsend.
The County has purchased all of the land needed for the treatment plant site and the wastewater infiltration area and performed extensive, multi-year hydro-geologic studies, which have resulted in the County receiving the required approvals for this site and process from the Department of Ecology. The property is located on both the north and south side of Lopeman Road in Port Hadlock.
Figure 5 - Conceptual Site Plan Showing Location of Treatment Plant and Infiltration Area on County Property
The Washington State Department of Ecology has determined that the wastewater from this project must be treated to Class A Reclaimed Water standards. Raw sewage is pumped into a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) treatment plant which first removes solids and then treats the remaining water to this high standard. The reclaimed water is then pumped to a site on County property south of Lopeman Road in Port Hadlock where it will rapidly infiltrate into the ground to recharge the groundwater table under Chimacum Creek. This method of wastewater treatment is being promoted by Ecology as a strongly preferred alternative to options such as direct disposal into saltwater. Initial wastewater flows from the Phase I sewer area are estimated to be on the order of 48,500 to 75,000 gallons per day.
More information about reclaimed water is available from the Department of Ecology’s website https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Water-quality/Reclaimed-water. The information is also reprinted below.
Reclaimed — or recycled — water starts out as domestic wastewater (sewage), but is then treated and tested to use for specific purposes.
After all the sewage from residences and businesses is collected and treated at a wastewater treatment plant, some is separated, further treated and cleaned, and tested to ensure it’s safe for use. It is then no longer sewage or wastewater. It is reclaimed water and can be used for many purposes.
The departments of Health and Ecology work together to permit reclaimed water projects, and protect public health and the environment.
Reclaimed water is not drinking water. It can be used for watering grass and plants at parks and golf courses, to replenish groundwater, to flush toilets in commercial and industrial buildings, or for similar purposes. It is delivered through purple pipes to help alert construction workers, plumbers, and others that it is reclaimed water and not intended for drinking.
The process of reclaiming water uses advanced technologies to filter and remove pathogens and contaminants. This turns otherwise wasted water into a valuable resource that does not need to be drawn from an aquifer or lake.
Benefits of reclaimed water — it’s the right water for the right use.
Washingtonians use reclaimed water for a wide variety of uses where you do not need drinking — or potable — water.
In addition to the uses mentioned above, reclaimed water is used for:
I want to...
Learn how reclaimed water is treated so it’s safe to use
Learn more about the Reclaimed Water Rule
See the permit information
As the regional climate changes, warmer springs and hotter summers will decrease the snow stored in the mountains. With reduced snow to melt, less water will be available during critical summer months for both instream needs and human water demands.
By turning wastewater into reclaimed water for reuse, we reduce the discharge of polluted water to Washington’s rivers, lakes, streams, and Puget Sound. It also allows the state’s rapidly growing communities to adapt to — and prepare for — impacts from increased population demands. This will help Washington to adapt to its growing business and economic sectors, as well as climate change.
The Washington State Department of Health (Health) and Ecology are both required to review reclaimed water proposals. Our agencies work together to determine if proposed treatment methods and uses will protect public health and the environment, and not affect existing water rights. The lead agency is determined based on the type of facility that will reclaim the water. That agency will only issue a permit to operate the reclaimed water system after requirements from both agencies are met.
The public has an opportunity to comment on permit conditions during the permitting process. Permits are valid for five years and the facility may renew their permit if they are in compliance.
We are working in partnership with Health, along with the assistance of many stakeholders, to develop the rules governing reclaimed water. Safeguards in the rules are designed to match water quality requirements with the proposed uses. This minimizes public contact when lower quality reclaimed water is in use and prevents mixing reclaimed water and drinking water supplies.We will monitor permitted reclaimed water facilities’ operation and performance reports to verify generators are producing reclaimed water that meets the requirements. This will help ensure water quality is protected all the way to the user.
LOTT’s East Bay Plaza Stream, which runs in front of the Hand’s onChildren’s Museum in Olympia, is a great example of reclaimed water.It is continually disinfected and recirculated to flow again and again —bringing hours of safe, summertime fun to the community.
The treatment process for reclaiming water removes and kills harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Reclaimed water treatment and delivery to customers (by pipe or by truck) must follow rigorous requirements in state rules and permits.
We apply the same trusted filtration and disinfection technologies used in the treatment of drinking water to reclaim water. Reclaimed water operators ensure the water is safe before use through reliable treatment and redundant backup processes in the facility design.
The treatment level required for each use depends on whether the public can be exposed to the water after it is treated. Reclaimed water must also meet existing state laws for discharge to the environment — such as to aquifers or rivers.
Treatment systems automatically divert any water that is not fully treated. This means the public will not encounter reclaimed water unless it is safe for its approved use.
We follow the Safe Drinking Water principle of “multiple protective barriers” which includes continuous monitoring, operation, and maintenance by well-trained and state-certified operators.
Reclaimed water may be used for many purposes, such as watering grass and plants at parks and golf courses or for agricultural use.
Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals of concern have been detected in Washington’s surface water, groundwater, wastewater, reclaimed water, and sediments.
As the ability to detect these chemicals in water has improved, it is now possible to detect trace amounts of them in wastewater and reclaimed water. Studies to date show that exposure to pharmaceuticals in reclaimed water is extremely low. For example, one study showed a person would have to work in fields irrigated with reclaimed water for 28,000 years before being exposed to the equivalent of one tablet of ibuprofen.
According to recent testing, the reclaiming process does reduce or remove a number of these chemicals; however, at this time, there are no standards that set “safe” levels of exposure for these trace chemicals. We will continue to work with our partners at Health to track and respond to research in this area.
No. Reports are obtained through the affected law enforcement agency.
The Prosecuting Attorney does not investigate cases. We receive our cases directly from a law enforcement agency. If you want criminal charges to be filed, you must first contact the law enforcement agency for the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.
Jefferson County Sheriff
Port Townsend Police Department
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Washington State Patrol
Washington State Law and the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from providing legal advice to members of the public. If you have a matter that requires legal assistance, you may wish to contact Jefferson Associated Counsel, the public defender for Jefferson County, Northwest Justice Project, Columbia Legal Services, Washington Legal Help, a county bar association or a lawyer listed at the Legal Information Institute.
Jefferson County Fire Marshal
United States Coast Guard
Having a warrant out for your arrest is a serious problem that can result from a range of situations, from missed court dates to criminal offenses. Dealing with your arrest warrant is crucial to avoid accumulating fines and further complications. If you think that Jefferson County Superior Court or District Court has issued a warrant for your arrest, first contact your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may contact the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office at (360) 385-9180 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for further information. Having the Jefferson County Cause Number or the Law Enforcement number available makes accessing those records easier.
You cannot “drop charges.” The Prosecuting Attorney files charges on behalf of the citizens of the State of Washington for crimes committed in Jefferson County. The decision to drop charges in any criminal prosecution can only be made by a prosecutor with the approval of a judge. The decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute is ultimately up to the prosecutor assigned to the case.
If you are a victim of a crime and you do not wish to pursue the charges that have been filed, please contact the Victim-Witness Advocate. A victim's opinion is important, and the prosecutor will take those wishes into account when deciding regarding the case.
If you would like to discuss your case, you should speak with the prosecutor handling your matter by calling the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office at (360) 385-9180 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
There is no online mechanism in place for public access to prosecution records. You may contact our office at (360) 385-9180 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the status of your case. Having the Jefferson County Cause Number or the Law Enforcement number available makes finding those records easier.
That information is available through either the County Clerk's Office in the case of felony cases or with the District Court in the case of misdemeanors.
Please click on the Family Support Division link for detailed information.
If the court ordered the defendant to pay restitution to you, but you are not receiving any money, it could be because the defendant is still incarcerated or there may be other reasons the defendant has not made restitution payments to the Court. The Clerk of the court, in which the case was filed, will send payment to you directly as monies are received. It is important to note, it is possible you may have to wait a considerable amount of time before receiving either full or partial restitution. If you are not receiving restitution you should contact either the District Court or County Court Clerk's Office to make sure your correct address is on record.
If you need a lawyer, please contact one of the following agencies or organizations:
Jefferson Associated Counsel, the public defender for Jefferson County
Northwest Justice Project
Columbia Legal Services
Washington Legal Help
A county bar association
A lawyer listed at the Legal Information Institute
Washington State Law and the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from providing legal advice to members of the public.
The court locations are posted each Wednesday in the Courthouse elevator. Useful links are below:
Jefferson County Clerk
Jefferson County District Court
Jefferson County Superior Court
Washington State Courts
Washington State Courts Scheduled Proceedings
(lookup court dates)
Washington State Law and the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from providing legal advice to members of the general public. If you have a matter that requires legal assistance, you may wish to contact Jefferson Associated Counsel, the public defender for Jefferson County, Northwest Justice Project, Columbia Legal Services, Washington Legal Help, a county bar association or a lawyer listed at the Legal Information Institute.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's office has a website to help people become aware of known sex offenders in their neighborhood. You will need to enter your address, city, and zip code to access the information.
Sex Offender Search
There are several types of restraining orders available to residents of Washington State. The circumstances will dictate which order is most appropriate.
Not all convictions can be vacated. To see if you qualify, review the Revised Code of Washington, or contact a lawyer.
If after reviewing the Revised Code of Washington and/or consulting an attorney, you believe you are eligible, you can submit your request to our office, by mailing the required documentation listed below.
The Prosecutor's Office and the Court must have proof that you completed all the conditions in your judgment and sentence. This includes payment of all financial obligations.
To purchase copies of the court documents, you may contact the County Clerk's Office. You may also employ a service such as the Attorney's Information Bureau.
If you submit all the above documents to our office and are eligible for the order you are requesting, the Prosecuting Attorney will present the order to the appropriate court for approval. If the motion is granted, the Prosecuting Attorney will file the originals with the Court and mail you a copy. If the Court denies your request, you will also be notified by mail of that decision.
If you are inquiring about "sealing your case" or "expunging," please contact an attorney. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will return any motions that contain requests to seal or expunge. This language must be removed before your documents can be reviewed.
Keep a copy of all documents that you submit to our office.
Provide your current mailing address, telephone number and email address (if you have one) with your packet.
Send completed employment application form to the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, Attention: Director of Environmental Health and Water Quality, by 4:30 pm of the listed announcement closing date. Applicants are always highly encouraged to submit a resume with their application.
To exercise your rights under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), to ask for more information, or, to report a problem contact the HIPAA Compliance Officer.
HIPAA Compliance OfficerJefferson County Public Health615 Sheridan StreetPort Townsend, WA 98368
360.385.9400 Telephone360.385.9401 Fax
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a written complaint with the above individual or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.
Review a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices, effective October 2013.
The County Road Department picks up non-domestic animals, such as deer and coyote, that are on a county road or in the county right of way. Please contact the Road Maintenance Division at (360)385-0890 or to complete the online problem report click here.
For more information on this topic please see our Deceased Animals on County Road page.
If you would like to report a pothole on a County Road please call (360)385-0890 or complete the online problem report by clicking here.
For more information on this topic please see our Pothole Repair page.
To report a ditch or culvert concern please call the County Road Department at (360)385-0890 or complete the online problem report by clicking here.
For more information on this topic please see our Ditches & Culverts page.
To request any road maintenance please call the County Road Department at (360)385-0890 or complete the online problem report by clicking here.
For more information on this topic please see our Grading and Graveling page.
Mowing is usually completed in the spring and summer. Brush cutting is typically done in the fall and winter.
For more information on this topic please see our Vegetation Control page.
For more information on this topic please see our Street Sweeping page.
We can only provide a list of what roads will be chip sealed for the current year. To see a list of these roads please visit our Chip Seal Program page.
To report a road condition concern please call the County Road Department at (360)385-0890 or complete the online problem report by clicking here.
Please try to be patient. We will get to you as soon as possible, regardless of the size of the storm. To request any road maintenance please call the County Road Department at (360)385-0890 or complete the online problem report by clicking here.
If this is an after hours issue that needs to be immediately addressed, please report it to the Sheriff's Department at (360)344-9779 ext. 0.
To report a problem with a county road sign please call (360)385-0890 or complete the online problem report by clicking here.
For more information on this topic please see our Road Signs page.
To get on the wood chip list you need to fill out the Hold Harmless Agreement and return it to the Road Maintenance Office. It will then be reviewed by the office personnel and given to a road crew member to do a site inspection before getting added to the delivery list.
Being on the wood chip list does not guarantee you will get any wood chips at any given time.
Hold Harmless Agreement
For more information on this topic see our Adopt-a-County Road page or call the Road Maintenance Office at (360)385-0890.
Certified copies of your marriage certificate can be requested in person or through the mail. The current cost is $3.00 per certified copy. If purchasing through the mail, please be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for its return. You can also request a copy through the Washington State Digital Archives.
No. We do not provide blank documents or forms. Most office supply or stationary stores carry legal forms.
The recording department records a variety of documents, including real estate documents, liens, community property agreements, power of attorney, military discharge papers and surveys.
You can request a copy of your deed from our office in person or by mail.
You can obtain a process server license by completing an application and paying a $10 annual fee. Licenses must be renewed yearly.
A staff person is available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The Board of Health established this fee to fund the Septic Operation and Monitoring and Maintenance Program (O&M) in Jefferson County. The fee is applied for each septic system on a property. The O&M Program assures that septic systems are monitored and inspected in compliance with local and state code. Program activities include information and education for septic system owners; management of the website for eligible homeowners to become authorized to inspect their own septic system; follow-up when problems are identified during a professional or homeowner inspection; and information on low interest loans when septic system failure occurs. You can contact us at 360-385-9407 if you have further questions about the fee, or about your septic system.
Usually the person designing the septic system will complete the forms, get the property owner's signature and submit the proposal for review. The application for a permit can be picked up at the Jefferson County Environmental Public Health located at 617 Sheridan in Port Townsend, Washington or download the PDF: Septic Permit Application (PDF).
View the current Fee Schedule (PDF).
Please contact our office with current permit processing times.
A new permit is valid for 3 years. A repair permit is valid for 3 months to 1 year.
Pay with check, money order or cashier’s check (no cash) and send by USPS or use the Treasurer’s drop box:
Jefferson County Treasurer
PO Box 571
Port Townsend, WA 98368
No cash payments are allowed during this state of emergency and while the Treasurer’s Office is closed to the public. Money orders and cashier’s checks are available at banks, grocery stores, post offices and other locations that are considered essential services and open during this time.
Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your payment to receive a receipt. Please know that we have over 20,000 taxpayers in our county, and we cannot afford to print and mail receipts. Your canceled check or proof of payment does qualify as a receipt for tax purposes.
No. The Treasurer’s Office is closed to the public for property tax payments. You may send payments by mail, place them in the drop box or pay online. We look forward to when this pandemic is over and we can open our doors to the public for drop-in business again.
THE TREASURER’S OFFICE IS WORKING BUT CLOSED TO IN-PERSON BUSINESS: Please know that the Treasurer’s Office is working full time to process payments, keep the county’s bank operating, and answer questions by phone or email. Limiting in-person interactions with taxpayers and the bank is crucial for minimizing spread of the virus and keeping our office functioning. Cash payments are not allowed during this time.
Statements are mailed in February of each year. Property owners receive statements by mail or by eNotices. If you, your spouse or a co-owner signed up for receiving statements electronically by eNotices, you will not receive a paper statement.
eNotices were sent from eNoticesOnline.com on February 12, 2020. Access your Jefferson County, WA property tax statement at https://enoticesonline.com/. To Unsubscribe from eNotices and to receive hard copy property tax statements for 2021 via USPS, log in and unsubscribe at https://enoticesonline.com/. There is not an option to pay from your eNotice tax statement. Please read further for payment options.
You may access parcel information including taxes owed on the Property Search page, and you may email us at email@example.com to request a duplicate statement by email. We do not mail hard copy duplicate statements due to the expense. A statement, envelope and postage to provide duplicate statements for our more than 20,000 property owners with 30,000 parcels is cost-prohibitive.
WIC (Women Infants & Children) is a supplemental food program sponsored by Jefferson County Public Health for income eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and children under age 5 that offers nutrition education and food vouchers. Learn more here.
Find out if you are eligible and how to apply, and make an appointment by calling 360-385-9432. We have convenient appointment times. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic WIC services are provided via telephone through September 30, 2020.
Good news- WIC has openings for eligible pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under 5 years old. Get nutritious foods, information about feeding children, breastfeeding education and support and referrals to important services. Learn more here.
Eligibility depends on household size and income.
WIC is a nutrition program for pregnant women, new and breastfeeding moms, and children under five.
Dad, grandparents, and other caregivers of children under the age of five may also sign kids up for WIC.
Foster children under age five and foster teens who are pregnant are eligible for WIC.
If you or your family member are on Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Basic Food you may be eligible for WIC too.
Many working families and military families are eligible for WIC.For more details like income guidelines, visit: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/WIC/Eligibility
Our friendly WIC staff will work with you to fulfill program requirements for proof of identification, proof of income, and proof of residency. Often an Apple Healthcare number could meet these requirements. If you have questions, call our helpful staff at 360-385-9432.
The easiest way to make a WIC appointment is to call 360-385-9432.
WIC foods meet the special nutritional needs of pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum moms, infants, and children up to 5 years old. WIC supports successful, long-term breastfeeding.
WIC provides a wide variety of healthy foods that includes:
Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, breakfast cereals fortified with iron and low in sugar, a variety of protein foods such as eggs, dried peas and beans, peanut butter and tofu, Good sources of calcium such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy beverages, juice, baby food, infant formula.
For more detail about WIC foods visit: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/WIC/WICFoods
Each client must be a current Washington state resident to receive benefits from the Washington State WIC Nutrition Program. There’s no time requirement for a person to be a resident before participating in WIC. U.S. citizenship is not required. WIC participation doesn’t affect a person’s immigration status. Being on WIC doesn’t make a person a “public charge”.