Marriage in Custody
It is the Policy of Spokane County Detention Services that inmates may be married while incarcerated if the following conditions are met.
- The inmate requesting to get married is required to fill out an Inmate Marriage Request Form and submit it to the Marriage Coordinator at Spokane County Detention Services.
- The date of marriage request MUST be at least two weeks from the date your request was submitted.
- The Marriage Coordinator will then notify the agency(s) responsible for the inmates incarceration. Those agencies will have two weeks to file the necessary court paperwork and submit it to the Marriage Coordinator if they are denying the request. You will be notified if this should occur.
The following conditions must also apply:
- An inmate cannot marry another incarcerated inmate.
- Both the inmate and the intended spouse must be eligible to marry in the State of Washington.
- Outside officiates (clergy or magistrate):
Must be qualified under RCW 26.04 to perform marriages within the State of Washington
Must not have a felony within the last 10 years
Clergy must submit his/her ordination certificate or license
Members of the judiciary from outside Spokane County who perform civil ceremonies must submit their letter of appointment or oath of office.
- The inmate and intended spouse are responsible for any associated costs for the marriage ceremony.
- The intended spouse, all witnesses, and the official performing the ceremony must meet all visiting criteria of Spokane County Detention Services.
- Inmates are not allowed to get married, while on disciplinary or watch status.
- Inmates being held for other counties, states or for DOC are prohibited from getting married.
Commonly asked questions:
Question: Do I, the intended spouse, need to fill out any forms?
Answer: Only the inmate is required to fill out the form and submit it. It does not have to be filled out by the intended spouse.
Question: What do I do now that my marriage request has been approved?
Answer: The person that is not incarcerated needs to apply for a marriage license through the County Clerk. Once that is done the application will need to be dropped off at the Jail/Geiger for the inmate to sign in front of a notary. The form will then need to be sent back out by the inmate. The Jail/Geiger does not need a copy of it.
Question: How do I schedule the marriage once it has been approved?
Answer: The marriage will be handled like any normal visit. All visiting requirements apply to the wedding ceremony. The marriage will take place in a visiting booth during normal visiting hours. The inmate will not be allowed to dress into civilian clothes for the wedding, nor will there be an exchange of wedding rings allowed.
Question: The date of the wedding needs to be changed. What do I do?
Answer: Changing the wedding date is fine. The Jail/Geiger does not need to be notified if the wedding date is changed as long as the visiting requirements are adhered to.
The Spokane County Auditor has a wedding hotline (license fees, etc.) at 477-2271.