Overview of Responsibilities

Adoption decrees and re-registration forms go directly from the Clerk’s office to the Department of Health, with special provisions for Native American children.

In criminal cases, the clerk issues warrants of arrest and subpoenas for witnesses and sends copies of orders to the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, State Patrol, Department of Corrections, prosecutors, public defenders, sheriffs, jails, and others. Notices are sent by the clerk regarding removal of rights to vote, possess a firearm and drivers licenses. In addition, the Clerk registers all witnesses and is responsible for safeguarding all exhibits admitted at trial.

Domestic Relations & Civil Paternity
The Clerk issues writs of garnishment and execution, warrants for failure to comply, and provides forms, court procedures and assistance to the public in domestic violence and anti-harassment cases. The Clerk is responsible for transmitting certificates of dissolution and invalidity to the Department of Health in Olympia. Court rule requires that the Clerk notify all litigants in cases which have been without action for one year that the cause of action may be dismissed for inactivity and dismisses those cases not in compliance.

As the financial officer of the court, the Clerk collects statutory filing fees, service fees, sanctions, cash bonds, child support, legal financial obligations, and other court ordered payments. The Clerk administers the financial records for the court, which include accounting records for all Superior Court cases, funds held in the clerk’s trust account, court and case level investments, and claims for federal and state grants. The Clerk also enters Superior Court judgments, issues writs for execution, satisfies judgments, receives and disburses funds paid into the court, and manages the accounts receivable of the legal financial obligations.

Juvenile Dependency
The Clerk maintains confidential court records pertaining to children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected, or who are in the custody of the court. The Clerk is responsible for issuing summons and in cases of child abuse, notifying the State Patrol. The Clerk works with schools and parents when children are truant or absent from school. Dependency cases also require the Clerk to perform special duties with regard to shelter care and at risk youth matters.

Juvenile Offender
Upon a charge filed by the prosecuting attorney in a situation involving a juvenile, the Clerk must issue a summons and warrant of arrest. Juvenile cases are subject to numerous special statutes, but have the same requirements as adult cases where record keeping and exhibit control are concerned. The Clerk is responsible for sealing juvenile court records and ensuring no information is provided without a court order.

Mental Illness, Alcohol & Drug Treatment
Responsibility lies with the clerk for processing and maintaining the confidential case files of involuntary commitment cases. The Clerk sets hearings for intensive treatment proceedings, prepares court orders, and notifies witnesses, including mental health professionals.

Probate & Guardianship
The Clerk keeps a record of wills and bonds, issues letters of testamentary and of administration or guardianship authorizing representatives to act on behalf of persons who are deceased or incapacitated. In probate, the Clerk issues forms for the transfer of title to mobile homes and vehicles.