ACCESS TO RECORDS OF THE COURT

Courts are not “agencies” subject to Washington’s Public Records Act. Records maintained by a Court and/or Judicial Officer are subject to access, inspection and dissemination under Washington Court Rules GR 31 and GR 31.1.

Court Records

A "court record" includes, but is not limited to: 

  1. Any document, information, exhibit, or other thing that is maintained by a court in connection with a judicial proceeding, and
  2. Any index, calendar, docket, register of actions, official record of the proceedings, order, decree, judgment, minute, and any information in a case management system created or prepared by the court that is related to a judicial proceeding.

A “court record” does not include data maintained by or for a judge pertaining to a particular case or party, such as personal notes and communications, memorandum, drafts, or other working papers; or information gathered, maintained, or stored by a government agency or other entity to which the court has access but which is not entered into the record.

The public has access to all “court records” except as restricted by federal law, state law, court rule, court order, or case law. The public may inspect “court records” without payment of any fees. Fees are charged for copies of “court records.”

To request copies of “court records,” complete and submit a Request for Court Records.

Administrative Records

An "administrative record" means any record pertaining to the management, supervision or administration of the judicial branch, including any court, board, or committee appointed by or under the direction of any court or other entity within the judicial branch, or the office of any county clerk, unless exempt from access under GR 31.1, federal law, state law, court rule, court order, or case law.

The District Court has adopted a policy for Access to Administrative Records. The public may inspect “administrative records” without payment of any fees. Fees are charged for copies of “court records.”