Cowlitz County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. The court hears criminal, civil, traffic infraction, and miscellaneous cases filed by: Washington State Patrol, Cowlitz County Sheriff, Cowlitz County Humane Society, Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney, Department of Natural Resources, State Department of Fish and Wildlife
In addition to these cases the cities of Longview, Kelso, Kalama, Woodland, and Castle Rock contract with the District Court to have their cases heard.
District Court clerks are not allowed to give any legal advice. This includes: what to say in court, how to file civil forms, what plea to make on a charge, or change any order from a judge.
District Court judges are elected to four-year terms and, in addition to hearing cases, they are authorized to perform civil marriage ceremonies.