Access to Court Records
To obtain copies of documents from a court file:
Copies In Person - Copies of documents filed in Superior Court cases may be obtained from the County Clerk's Office in person during business hours (8:30-12:00 Noon and 1:00-4:00, Monday - Friday). Certified copies (with seal) cost $5.00 for the first page of the document and $1.00 for each additional page. Non-certified copies cost $.25 cents per page, unless on Microfilm - $.50 cents per page..
Copies By Mail - Copies of documents may be requested by mail addressed to the Spokane County Clerks Office, Room 300, County Courthouse, 1116 W Broadway Ave., Spokane WA 99201-0090. You must enclose the appropriate fee for copies and a self-addressed, stamped envelope of sufficient size, with enough postage for your copies.
Fees - You may telephone the County Clerk's Office (509-477-2211) during office hours to find out the number of pages for each document and the exact fee, prior to requesting copies. The clerk does not accept debit or credit cards. These fees are in accordance with RCW 36.18.016.
GR 31 - Access to Court Records
(a) Policy and Purpose. It is the policy of the courts to facilitate access to court records as provided by Article I, Section 10 of the Washington State Constitution. Access to court records is not absolute and shall be consistent with reasonable expectations of personal privacy as provided by article 1, Section 7 of the Washington State Constitution and shall not unduly burden the business of the courts.
Court Records include any document, information, exhibit, or other thing that is maintained by a court in connection with a judicial proceeding and information in a case management system created or prepared by the court that is related to a judicial proceeding. Examples of court records are: an index, calendar, docket, order, decree, judgment or minute entry in a courtroom proceeding.
All court records are open to the public except as restricted by federal law, state law, court rule, court order, or case law.
Some court records the public cannot access:
- Adoption Records
- Mental illness commitment records
- Alcohol and drug treatment commitment records
- Paternity records (except final judgment)
- Confidential name changes
- Juvenile non-offender records (Juvenile Dependency, Truancy, At-Risk Youth, Child in Need of Services, Termination of Parental Rights, and Developmental Disability Placement)
- Court records sealed by judicial order
Family law and guardianship cases have some additional restrictions. Some documents are considered restricted access documents and are not available to the public.
Spokane County Requirements
Complete Names of Children Required - The complete names of children shall be used in cases brought under statutes that are deemed confidential pursuant to state or federal statutes, including cases filed pursuant to Chapter 13.34 and Chapter 71.34 RCW. The complete names of children and other identifiers shall be included in the Confidential Information Form or similar document for cases filed under Title 26 or Title 13.
Orders Issued For Protection of a Child - If a child is a person protected by a criminal no contact order issued pursuant to 10.99 RCW, an anti-harassment order issued pursuant to 10.14 RCW, an order of protection issued pursuant to 26.50 RCW or a restraining order or order of protection issued pursuant to 26.09 RCW, 26.10 RCW, 26.26 RCW, RCW 26.52.020, or any other court order entered for the protection of the child, the child's full name and other identifiers shall be included on petitions and orders as necessary for entry of the order into the Judicial Information System (JIS) and/or the Washington Crime Information Center (WACIC).
In family law cases, the date of birth of a child shall be included in court records only as authorized by GR 22.
If access to a child is restricted pursuant to CrR 3.2(d)(1), the court may include the full name of the child on the order.
GR 31 (e) - Personal Identifiers Omitted or Redacted from Court Records
(2) The responsibility for redacting these personal identifiers rests solely with counsel and the parties. The Court or the Clerk will not review each pleading for compliance with this rule. If a pleading is filed without redaction, the opposing party or identified person may move the Court to order redaction. The court may award the prevailing party reasonable expenses, including attorney fees and court costs, incurred in making or opposing the motion.
GR 31 (g) - Bulk Distribution of Court Records
(1) A dissemination contract and disclaimer approved by the JIS Committee for JIS records or a dissemination contract and disclaimer approved by the court clerk for local records must accompany all bulk distribution of court records.
(2) A request for bulk distribution of court records may be denied if providing the information will create an undue burden on court or court clerk operations because of the amount of equipment, materials, staff time, computer time or other resources required to satisfy the request.
(3)The use of court records, distributed in bulk form, for the purpose of commercial solicitation of individuals named in the court records is prohibited.