Attorneys are strongly urged to share this notice with all clients so that an informed decision about the inclusion of certain materials may be made. It is the sole responsibility of the filer to be sure that all documents filed comply with the rules of the court requiring removal or omission of personal identifiers. The Clerk will not review each document for compliance with these requirements.
Any document filed with the court should not include sensitive information, unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case or is ordered by the court. Any personal information not otherwise protected by statute or court rule will be made available at the courthouse and may also be available in a local court's website.
In Family Law and Guardianship Cases, income tax returns, W-2s and schedules, wage stubs, credit card statements, financial institution statements, check registers, loan application documents, retirement plan orders and other financial information sealed by court order should be filed under the Sealed Financial Source Documents Cover Sheet. Anyone filing a document should remove or omit (leave out) social security numbers, financial account numbers, and driver's license numbers on all other documents, except the Confidential Information Form and Addendums, Notice of Intent to Relocate, Vital Statistics Form, Law Enforcement Information Form, Foreign Protection Order Information Form, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
Sealed Personal Health Care Records
Any record, report, or correspondence that contains health information that relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health condition of an individual including past, present or future payments for health, or involves genetic parentage testing are considered "Personal Health Care Records." Personal Health Care Records shall be submitted to the Clerk under a cover sheet designated "Sealed Personal Health Care Records."
Family & Guardianship Cases
Documents that are intended as reports to the court in Family and Guardianship Cases including parenting evaluations, domestic violence assessment reports, risk assessment reports, CPS summary reports, sexual abuse evaluations, reports of a guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate, shall be filed as two separate documents, one public and one sealed. The public portion will be placed in the court file and available for public inspection. The sealed document shall be filed with a coversheet designated: "Sealed Confidential Report." The sealed portion may not be placed in the court file or used as an attachment or exhibit to any other document except under seal.
Responsibility in Filing Documents
It is the sole responsibility of the person filing the documents (usually attorneys and the parties to a case) to be sure that all documents filed comply with the rules of the court requiring the filing of certain documents under the Sealed Financial Source Documents, Sealed Personal Health Care Records and Sealed Confidential Report Coversheets. The clerk will not review each document for compliance with these requirements.
By statute, the following types of case records are not open to the public:
Adoptions - RCW 26.33.330
Chemical Dependency Commitment - RCW 70.96A.150
Confidential Name Changes - RCW 4.24.130(5)
Grand Jury and Special Inquiry Judge - RCW 10.27.160
Juvenile Non-Offense - RCW 13.50.100
Juvenile Offender Records (other than official court file) - RCW 13.50.050
Mental Illness Commitment - RCW 71.05.620
Mental Illness Commitment of Minors - RCW 71.34.210
Paternity - RCW 26.26.610(2)
For all other types of cases, unless otherwise necessary or otherwise ordered by the court, persons filing documents with the court should not include, and if present shall remove or omit (leave out), the following personal identifiers from all documents:
Social Security Number: If the Social Security Number of an individual must be included in a document, only the last 4 digits of that number shall be used.
Financial account numbers: If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last 4 digits shall be included in the document.
Driver's license numbers: Driver's license numbers are necessary on Notice of Infractions and Uniform Citations.