Access Court Records

What Is a Court Record?
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 any of the following used in a courtroom proceeding:
  • Calendar
  • Decree
  • Docket
  • Index
  • Judgment
  • Minute entry
  • Order

GR 31 - Access to Court Records (PDF)

(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.

Access Restrictions
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 include:
  • Adoption Records
  • Alcohol and drug treatment commitment records
  • Confidential name changes
  • Court records sealed by judicial order
  • Juvenile non-offender records (Juvenile Dependency, Truancy, At-Risk Youth, Child in Need of Services, Termination of Parental Rights, and Developmental Disability Placement)
  • Mental illness commitment records
  • Paternity records (except final judgment)

Family law and guardianship cases have some additional restrictions. Some documents are considered restricted access documents and are not available to the public.