Here is the typical procedure for filing your firearm restoration motion in Pierce County.
Step #1: File the Motion in Superior Court
You have to file your motion in the Pierce County Superior Court. Only superior court judges have the authority to hear motions to restore your firearms rights.
Do not file your motion in Pierce County District Court or a local municipal court, such as Tacoma Municipal Court. These courts will automatically reject your motion and you'll have to start over in superior court.
Step #2: How to file your motion
You can file your motion electronically or by mail.
E-filing is mandatory for attorneys, but the court also encourages non-attorneys to file electronically.
To E-file in Pierce County Superior Court, click on this link to access the Legal Information Network Exchange (LINX) system. You need a LINX account to e-file account, so first-time users have to download and fill out a request for an account.
Once you have an account, log in to LINX, click on the “E-File” button on the menu bar and follow the instructions for creating a new case and uploading the required documents.
Finally, you have to pay the required $240 filing fee via credit or debit card plus a $1.50 e-processing fee.
After you file, the clerk's office will process and review your documents for any errors. If your filing is accepted, the clerk's office will send you a confirmation email and assign you a case number.
If you can, I highly recommend e-filing over filing by mail.
Filing by Mail
If you don't have access to the Internet, or you prefer to file by mail, send a copy of your documents and a check for the $240 filing fee to Pierce County Superior Court, Clerk's Office, 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 110, Tacoma, WA 98402.
If you file by mail, make sure you enclose an extra copy of your motion and asked the clerk's office to return a conformed copy. This means a copy of your motion with the case number attached.
Step #3: Prepare Your Documents
Regardless of whether you E-file or file by mail, you must provide the Court with certain documents to begin your case.
At a minimum, you should provide the following documents:
- Motion to Restore Firearms. This document formally notifies the Court that you are requesting the judge to restore your right to possess or use firearms in Washington
- Declaration. This document states that you meet the various legal requirements under RCW 9.41.040(4) for restoring your firearm rights. You must sign this document under penalty of perjury.
- Proposed Order. This is the document the court will hopefully sign.
Step #4: Receive a Case Order
After you file your case, you will receive a Case Order from the Court. The order will have a mandatory hearing date, approximately 90-120 days from the date of filing.
You must appear at the cout hearing or the Court will dismiss your firearms motion.
Step #5: Serve the Prosecutor's Office
You are required to serve a copy of your motion on the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, which will review your file and determine whether you're eligible. The prosecutor's office accepts service via email. The prosecutor in charge of firearms motions is Michael Sommerfeld.
You will need to provide the prosecutor with all the documents that you filed with the Court, along with a copy of the Case Order.
If prosecutors agree that you are eligible, then you are in very good shape. Although a judge is not required to sign an agreed firearms restoration motion, it's rare.
If prosecutors object, they will typically file a written objection with the Court. Just because the prosecutors object does not mean that you won't win your motion, but you'll need to address their argument in court.
Before COVID, prosecutors would typically review your motion well before the hearing and sign off on an agreed motion, which you could then file with the court before the hearing. Now, due to staffing cuts, prosecutors are not reviewing these motions before the mandatory court hearing.
FAQ: Pierce County Firearms Restoration
Can I file a firearms restoration motion in Pierce County Superior Court?
You can file your motion in Pierce County if one of the following applies:
- You are a resident of Pierce County
- You live outside Pierce County but Pierce County Superior Court terminated your right to possess firearms as a result of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor conviction
Example: You live in Olympia but you were convicted of felony theft offense in Tacoma. You can file your motion in Pierce County Superior Court because the superior court terminated your firearm rights.
Can I file a firearms restoration motion in Pierce County District Court?
No. Only superior court can hear a firearms restoration motion.
Where is Pierce County Superior Court located?
The courthouse address is:
Pierce County Superior Court
930 Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402
How can I contact the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney?
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
930 Tacoma Avenue, Room 946
Spokane, WA 99260