Washington court records
Accessing Washington Court Records
Are you trying to find Washington court records? There is no reason to despair, and there is no reason why you cannot find what you need. These records are in the public domain, and your right to Information will ensure that you can access the information that you need. However, even before you start looking for the record, it is necessary that you should do some home work.
There are many courts of law in Washington, with the State Supreme Court on top. Then there is the Court of Appeals, Superior court, the District court, and the Municipal courts. So, even before making that application, you should find out which court to approach for your record. You should also create a list of the information you want, because this will help you ask for the record and look for specifically what you need. You need to also have some idea about the time and the date of the information (the period in which the record was maintained in court) you seek. You must gather as much information as possible about the people involved and preferably should also know the docket number. Having all this information will help you greatly in looking for the record.
The Information you Can Get in Washington
The court records of Washington can give you a lot of information. From the records, you can learn about the court indexes, dockets, orders, calendars, judgments, decrees and the minutes. You can also have access to the exhibits that have been maintained at any court in the state pertaining to a judicial proceeding or lawsuit.
You can access police and military records including those from the army and navy. You can access criminal records, information on traffic violations and financial irregularities. You can learn whether a business has ever been sued or not and if yes, you can learn about the final verdict, as well. You can access birth and death records, marriage and divorce records, and more.
Information You Cannot Access
Since the information is in the public domain, you can access the records if you meet the qualification requirements. However in certain instances, your appeal can be turned down, as well. Your application can be rejected if the record is deemed private and confidential. This can happen if the information in the record concerns adoption, mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, issues of paternity, and juveniles. Your appeal can also be turned down if any party in the lawsuit had specifically requested the judge to keep the information private so that the record is not made publicly available.
How to Access Washington Court Records?
You can access the record online or offline. To access online, visit the website of the state judiciary. There are private websites too that can help you. To access offline, visit the Clerk's office of the concerned court. You can visit the office personally with your application, or you can apply over the telephone and can even send it through the mail.
Here, are the addresses you should know,
Legislative Information Center
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
p (360) 786-7573
f (360) 786-1293
Statewide Court Records
PO Box 41170
Olympia, WA 98504-1170
p (360) 753-3365
f (360) 586-8869
Washington Court Records
Public Access to Washington Court Records
Each state in the U.S. has the authority to determine whether court records should be public record. In Washington state, the laws provide that all court records in general are public records and should be available for viewing upon request, except those that are restricted by federal law, state law, court rule, court order, or case law.
What is Considered a Public Court Record?
In Washington, public court records include court indexes, calendars, dockets, orders, decrees, judgments, and minutes. Other court documents considered public include information or exhibits maintained by any court that pertain to any case or judicial proceeding.
What is NOT a Public Court Record?
Court records not considered to be public information include adoption records, mental illness commitment records, alcohol or drug treatment records, paternity records, confidential name change records, juvenile non-offender records, and records sealed by court order.
Are Online Records Official Records?
The State of Washington judicial system has made public court records available online to the general public. However, these records are for informational purposes only and not an official court record. All official court record requests should be directed to the Clerk of Court for the particular court who maintains the Washington court record.