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Washington's General Court Rule 31.1, effective January 1, 2016, governs Public Access to Court Administrative Records. Administrative Records are created by or maintained by a court or judicial agency and relate to the management, supervision, or administration of a court or judicial agency.

For information on how to access court case records, please visit the Superior Court Clerk's website. Case records relate to in-court proceedings, including case files, dockets, calendars, and the like. Public access to these records is governed by GR 31, which refers to these records as “court records,” and not by GR 31.1. Under GR 31, these records are presumptively open to public access, subject to stated exceptions.

King County Superior Court is committed to providing an open and responsive process for handling public record requests. If you would like to submit such a request, or if you have questions about your right to access court administrative records, please read the information provided below.

You may submit a completed Administrative Records Request Form to the court in any one of the following ways:

By Mail:

King County Superior Court
Attn: Court Administration
516 Third Avenue, Room C-203
Seattle, Washington 98104

By email: SCAdminRecordsOffice@kingcounty.gov

By fax: (206) 205-1360

(If you would like to pick up an Administrative Records Request Form in person, you may do so at the King County Courthouse, Room C-912, the Maleng Regional Justice Center, Room 2D, or the Youth Services Center at the main information desk.)

Please note that your request MUST be in writing and must include your name and contact information, as well as a description of the record you are requesting.

You will receive a response from the court within five (5) business days from our receipt of your request. This response will include:

  • The estimated time needed to produce the records or a first installment of the records;
  • Requests for clarification, if needed; and
  • An estimate of research and preparation costs for requests requiring more than one hour of staff time to obtain and prepare.

Fees

There will be a photocopying or scanning charge of $.15 per page for each record and separate charge for the costs to mail records. In addition, after the first hour, $30/hour will be charged for staff time to process your request. All fees are payable by exact cash, cashier’s check, or money order in advance of receiving the record.

If you wish to appeal the Public Records Officer’s decision(s) on your request, you must file an appeal as outlined in GR 31.1(d)(1).

Internal Review

You may appeal the decision of the Public Records Officer within ninety (90) calendar days. To initiate a review, please submit a completed Request for Review form using one of the following methods:

By mail:

King County Superior Court
Attn: Court Administration
516 Third Avenue, Room C-203
Seattle, Washington 98104

By email: SCAdminRecordsOffice@kingcounty.gov 

By fax: (206) 205-1360

The record will be reviewed by the King County Superior Court Presiding Judge or designee. In most cases, you will receive a response within five (5) business days from the date the request for review was received or the earliest practical date that the Presiding Judge or designee can review your appeal.

External Review

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the internal review, you may choose one of the following options for an external review: 

  • File a civil action in Superior Court to challenge the records decision.
  • Request an informal review by a visiting judge, delegated by the Presiding Judge.

This request must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the response from the first review.

For an overview of the law governing access to court administrative records, read this guideline for Obtaining Administrative Public Records.

If you have questions, concerns, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding public records requests for Superior Court, please contact the court's Public Records Officer in any one of the following ways:

By mail:

King County Superior Court
Attn: Court Administration 
516 Third Avenue, Room C-203
Seattle, Washington 98104

By email: SCAdminRecordsOffice@kingcounty.gov

By phone: (206) 477-4342

By TTY relay: 711

By fax: (206) 205-1360