The Bellingham Municipal Court has jurisdiction over infractions allegedly committed in the City of Bellingham in violation of the Bellingham Municipal Code. These non-criminal violations are punishable by a fine in a presumptive amount set by the State of Washington or the Bellingham City Council. Infractions include all varieties of traffic tickets, parking tickets, and other non-criminal violations of the Bellingham Municipal Code. Special rules govern infraction hearings, and procedures are different from criminal cases.
You must respond to the notice of infraction within fifteen (15) days from the date it was issued. A mailed response must be postmarked no later than midnight on the day the response is due.
Infraction citations contain the word “Infraction” on the upper-left hand corner of the citation, and an infraction number starting with the letters “IB” on the upper-right hand corner of the infraction.
If you receive an infraction, you have four options:
Failure to Appear or Pay Fines:
Failure to respond in a timely manner to a citation or failure to appear in Court for a scheduled hearing will result in a finding that the infraction was committed, and imposition of the fine amount listed on the citation without a further hearing. Failure to pay fines, or failure to make a scheduled payment pursuant to a court-ordered payment schedule, will result in an additional financial penalty of $52, and, in a traffic case, suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, your unpaid debt will be referred to a collection agency and may adversely affect your credit rating.