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The ECR Project Library includes information about the transition to an electronic court record in King County. For information about a particular Superior Court case:
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Purchase, view, and print court records with ECR Online.
Use the eFiling application.
Welcome to the Electronic Court Records Project Library
The Electronic Court Records (ECR) Project Library is home to the history and documentation of the King County Superior Court Clerk's Office ECR Program. The ECR Program encompasses a series of phased projects by which King County Superior Court and the Clerk's Office transitioned to an electronic court record. The Clerk's Office developed the ECR Program, which includes both technological solutions and re-engineered business processes that facilitated the move from a paper-based system to a more "paperless" court record.
As early as the 1980s, the Clerk's ability to provide timely access to court documents became impaired due to volume, increasing costs, and continual budget cuts. The demanding, day-to-day logistics of moving literally tons of paper were costly and relentless. Reliance on a physical court record meant only one person could access the record at a time, and only during specific hours while the Clerk's Office was open. This inefficient system created competition for access among judges, attorneys, and the public.
In the 1990s, inspired by advances in technology, court and community leaders began to consider alternatives to the paper record. After much collaboration, and encouraged by a 1998 statutory change allowing for the possibility of an electronic document as the official court record, the Clerk’s Office kicked off the ECR Program in 2000. Phased implementation included conversion of paper-based records into electronic versions, implementation of electronic filing, and establishment of an online public access system.
“The King County Electronic Court Records Program demonstrates the power of collaboration to fundamentally improve the judicial process.
-- Stephen Goldsmith, Director, Innovations in American Government Program, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government”
ECR has resulted in a paradigm shift in King County, where the legal original record is now an electronic document. Beginning with a pilot scanning project in 1997 and continuing today, the ECR Program has provided the public and legal community in King County with a more reliable and efficient court records system and, as a result, greater access to justice.
In 2007, the Clerk's Office was awarded an Innovations in Government Award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School. Recognized as a more efficient, cost-effective solution for addressing the cumbersome paper-based court record storage and retrieval process, King County’s ECR Program received $100,000 to share its practices with courts across the nation. Part of the award was designated for creation of this online library, documenting the history and philosophy of King County's ECR Program.