Authored by Ken LaMance, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law
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Named after the Puyallup Tribe, meaning “the generous people,” Puyallup is a city in Pierce County, Washington, about five miles east of Tacoma. As of 2008, it is home to over 36,000 residents. The city hosts the state’s largest annual state fair, the Puyallup Fair, which attracts over 1 million people a year and serves as an anchor for unique local businesses and restaurants. During World War II, the fairgrounds were used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans.
In September 2002, the Puyallup School District settled a two-year civil rights lawsuit, agreeing to pay $7.5 million and make administrative and curriculum changes to encourage racial diversity. The suit had accused the district of tolerating a racially hostile environment. Multiple racially charged incidents, including assaults on minority students and graffiti, occurred on school grounds. As a result of the suit, the district created an Office of Diversity Affairs, and provided extra training for faculty, coaches, and students, to promote diversity and racial tolerance.
Whether you are seeking legal redress, or hailed into court to defend yourself, it is important as an initial matter to understand the structure of the court system for legal matters arising out of Puyallup. The Pierce County Superior Court has authority over all civil disputes, and has exclusive authority over domestic relations, felonies, and juvenile matters. The Pierce County District Court has authority over infractions, misdemeanors, civil matters up to $75,000, name changes, and protection orders. It also contains a small claims court, which adjudicates disputes up to $5,000. Both the Superior Court and the District Court are located in Tacoma. Lastly, the Puyallup Municipal Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanors, traffic infractions, and parking violations arising under state statutes and city ordinances.
Puyallup attorneys not only specialize in a wide variety of legal fields, but are particularly skilled at navigating the court system. To find an attorney in the Puyallup area that is right for you, simply visit LegalMatch. We pre-screen attorneys to ensure that each lawyer is properly licensed, so that you can be confident in choosing a lawyer. Our website also contains useful tips on selecting an attorney, as well as general information on popular legal topics.
For more information on the Puyallup and Washington legal system, please visit the links below.