Seattle Municipal Court Hon. Karen Donohue, Presiding

Programs and Services

Seattle Youth Traffic Court (SYTC) Resources and Contacts

Partners & Volunteers

Seattle Municipal Court:    Seattle Municipal Court has jurisdiction over all civil traffic infractions filed by Seattle Police Department in the City of Seattle. Once a teen driver receives a ticket, the Court will review the infraction, as well as a defendant's history, to determine whether he or she qualifies for participation in Youth Court. The creation of Seattle's first youth court is consistent with SMC's mission to advance the principles of community-involved justice, in particular by changing the way that teens think about traffic violations.

Seattle University School of Law:    Seattle University School of Law manages the Youth Court cases once a defendant opts into SYTC. Law school staff and students mentor and train the high school students who, in turn, staff the youth court hearings as judges, prosecutors, jurors, bailiffs, and defense attorneys. SYTC hearings are held on the campus of the Seattle University School of Law, where cases are heard on a monthly basis.

Garfield High School:    The Youth Court jurors, judges, attorneys, and bailiffs are drawn from a pool of volunteer Garfield High School students. The students work under the supervision of a high school teacher, who works collaboratively with the law school staff and students as well as the Court and SPD.

Seattle Police Department:    The SYTC is also supported by Seattle Police Department. Officers help to train the high school students that hear the cases. SPD also created a Traffic Safety School tailored to the needs of teen drivers, where they learn important traffic safety lessons. SPD also facilitates "ride-alongs," permitting teens to accompany an officer during a routine traffic patrol.

Back to Youth Court Home Page

Youth Court Contacts

Seattle Municipal Court

  • Judge Karen Donohue, SYTC Co-Director
  • Magistrate Adam Eisenberg, SYTC Co-Director
  • Phone: 206-733-9391
  • Email:

Seattle University School of Law

Additional Youth Court Resources

Washington State Assoc. of Youth Courts
National Association of Youth Courts
Global Youth Justice
Seattle University Youth Initiative

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