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Photo Enforcement Information

Can a photo enforcement ticket be deferred?

Defendants desiring to keep violations off their driving record request deferred findings. There is no reason to defer a photo enforcement ticket because the violation will never appear on your driving record.

What are my hearing options?

If you decide not to pay the fine, you can request a mitigation hearing or a contested hearing. The hearings can be in person or by mail. Please follow the directions on the information provided to you by the court in requesting a hearing.

Simply put, you should request a mitigation hearing if you do not contest the issuance of the ticket against you and want the fine reduced or waived. You should request a contested hearing if you do not believe you violated the law. Please note that you waive your right to appeal if you request a contested hearing by mail. Also, the judge typically does not reduce the fine if the judge determines that you committed the infraction.
Photo Enforcement SMD Certificates

How are the hearings conducted?

For a contested hearing, the judge will first look at the affidavit of the officer, photographs and the video. In the case of an in-person hearing, the judge will then put you and any witnesses you call under oath. You will then present your case. The judge will then make a decision. You have 30 days to appeal an adverse decision. In the case of a mail-in hearing the judge will review your submission and then make a determination. Remember, you waive your right to appeal if you request a contested hearing by mail.

For a mitigation hearing the judge will either hear from you first if you appear in person or read your submission if you submitted your case by mail. The judge may then review the evidence offered by the city. There is no appeal for a mail-in or in-person mitigation hearing.

Where do I send my request for hearing?

Do not send your request for hearing directly to the court and do not drop it off at the court. Please send your request for hearing to the following address (do not send your payment to this address):

Federal Way Municipal Court
Photo Enforcement Program
P.O. Box 22091
Tempe, AZ 85285-2091

Where do I send my payment?

Do not send your payment directly to the court and do not drop your payment off at the court. Please send your payment to the following address (do not send your request for hearing to this address):

Federal Way Municipal Court
Photo Enforcement Program
P.O. Box 35131
Seattle, WA  98124-5131

You may also pay online.

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Call the ATS customer service number at 866.790.4111.

Surface Water Management

How do I find out information about harmful algae blooms in lakes?

Contact the Washington Department of Health at 360-236-3330 or visit their webpage at www.doh.wa.gov/algae

What does the city’s Surface Water Management (SWM) Division do?

The city’s SWM Division works hard to reduce flooding and prevent stormwater pollution from entering our waterways.  SWM works to:

  • Monitor lakes and streams
  • Maintain the stormwater system
  • Respond to spills and illegal dumping
  • Educate residents and businesses on stormwater pollution prevention.


Click to return to SWMP plan comment page

Do I pay a utility fee for surface water management?

Yes!  SWM is a utility, just like water and sewer.  SWM charges are included on resident’s annual property tax statements. The annual SWMP comment period is your chance to learn about clean water efforts in Federal Way and to help guide how your SWM dollars are put to work.


Click here to return to SWMP plan comment page


How do I report an abandoned vehicle?

Under RCW and City Ordinance, vehicles cannot be left abandoned in the public "right of way".  However, parking a currently registered vehicle on the shoulder of a public street is generally legal, unless the vehicle is obviously abandoned and/or the registration is expired more than 45 days.

Other than a properly signed “no parking” zone, a car must be abandoned on the public right of way (shoulder of the road) for police to initiate removal. 

Things that we look for to help established as abandoned: Flat tires, broken windows or missing parts needed to safely operate it, debris built up on or under the vehicle to indicate it hasnt' been moved in a while, licensed to an address outside of the area where it is parked.  (not an exhaustive list, just examples)

In response to a complaint of an abandoned vehicle, and based on call load, the police will respond and check to make sure that it is actually parked in the right of way.  If not, we cannot take any type of enforcement action. 

If it is parked on the public right of way, we will put a sticker on the window that will require the owner of the vehicle to move it.   We will return sometime after 24 hours to make sure that it has been done.   If not, we may impound the vehicle pursuant to RCW 46.55.085.      If you know who owns or where the vehicle belongs, please list that in the service report.  You can use this link to report the abandoned vehicle.

Please be patient.  We do make an effort to take care of the problem, but since the request has to go through many hands before it is assigned, it may take a while to respond.  Many times, it has been moved already and we will close out the request.

 Things to consider before filing a report: 

  1. Vehicles parked over 24 hours are not automatically considered abandoned. Under a reasonableness standard, we use the totality of the circumstances to initate impound procedure. 
  2. In most cases, you do not own exclusive rights to parking in front of your house if it is public right of way.  If the person that owns the vehicle is your neighbor, try to work it out before you submit an abandoned vehicle request.   For "on-going" parking disputes, the police should only be called as a last resort.