Judge Jennifer Forbes

Department No. 7

Judge Forbes is a graduate of Whitman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, 1993.  In 1996, she earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Seattle University.

Judge Forbes is the current Presiding Judge for Kitsap County Superior Court and has previously served as Assistant Presiding Judge (2022).  Between 2016 and 2018 Judge Forbes served as the Family Dependency Drug Court Judge.  In 2015 Judge Forbes served as the Domestic Relations Presiding Judge.  In 2013 Judge Forbes served as Judge Pro Tem for the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II.

Prior to being elected to the bench in 2012, Judge Forbes practiced law in Kitsap and Pierce Counties.   Judge Forbes practiced Criminal and Civil Law in both the public and private sectors.  Her principal practice areas were: Criminal Prosecution and Defense, Civil Litigation, Land Use/Environmental Law, and Municipal Law.   In the seven years preceding her election, Judge Forbes served as a judge Pro Tem in multiple courts throughout Kitsap County and was the Court Commissioner for the Bremerton Municipal Court in 2012.

Judge Forbes values community service.  Over her more than twenty-five years in Kitsap County, she has volunteered extensively in the community.  In 2023 Judge Forbes was appointed by the Governor to the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (term 2023-2025).  Her many other community activities include:  Poulsbo Rotary, YMCA, Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program Task Force, Leadership Kitsap, Adult Leader/Facilitator - National Youth Congress, Westsound Red Cross Leadership Council, Kitsap County P.A.L.S. Mentor Program, United Way - Day of Caring, Commission on Children and Youth, and Attorney Mentor for Kitsap County Youth Court.

Judge Forbes remains an active member of the legal community.  Judge Forbes is the current Superior Court Judges’ Association (SCJA) Immediate-Past President (2023-2024) and has served on the SCJA Board as President (2022-2023), President-Elect 2021-2022 and as District II Trustee (2017-2020).  As SCJA Board President, Judge Forbes served on the Board for Judicial Administration (BJA) and on the Strategic Oversight Committee for the Washington State Center for Court Research.  Since 2019, Judge Forbes has chaired the SCJA Unrepresented Litigant Ad Hoc Workgroup and in 2020-2021 was co-chair of the SCJA Legislative Committee.  She has previously served as: Committee Chair of the BJA Court Security Taskforce, member of the SCJA/DMCJA Joint Security Committee, member of the Washington State Superior Court Judges Association’s Technology Committee, and member of the Civil Rules Committee.  Judge Forbes currently chairs the Kitsap County Courthouse Security Committee and is the judicial representative to the Civil and Rules Committees.  As a practicing attorney she served on the Board of the Kitsap County Bar Association as President (2012), Vice President (2011), Secretary (2010), and Trustee (2009).  She was also a member of the following professional associations:  Pierce County Bar Association, Washington Women Lawyers, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys.

Judge Forbes was the recipient of the 2023 DMCJA Presidential Award.  Additionally, Judge Forbes received a YWCA Women of Achievement Award in 2014, is a Paul Harris Fellow, a Fellow of the 2012 Washington State Judicial Institute, and was the recipient of both the American Red Cross 2007 Real Heroes Spirit of Involvement Award and American Red Cross 2008 Exemplary Service Award.

Judge Forbes' Staff Attorney:

Marcus Hauer 360-337-4465