Audio Copies
Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH)

The official record for King County Superior Court cases initiated in the year and later is in electronic form. Most case files archived since are also maintained electronically. Paper filings, with some exceptions, are not retained. Viewing documents and case information or listening to recorded hearings in the clerk's office during business hours is cost free.

The Clerk's Office accepts cash, check and credit card. ONLY checks drawn on a Washington State bank with the name and address of the payer imprinted on it will be accepted. Records for cases filed before July 1, are stored on microfilm and are only available for viewing at the Clerk's Office downtown Seattle location , where the microfilm is stored. CDs of a recorded hearing. Court hearings may be reported by a traditional court reporter or recorded electronically by an audio or video recorder.

The court minutes for the hearing filed document will identify the method of reporting or recording, the start and end times of the recording, and the location room number of the hearing. If a court reporter was present at the court hearing, the court reporter is the only person available to prepare a verbatim transcript of the reported proceeding. Please make arrangements for a transcript by contacting the court reporter at King County Superior Court Administration: Seattle at ; Kent at If the hearing was recorded using the Court's audio system, after obtaining a copy go to the Court-Approved Transcriptionists page to learn how to obtain a official transcript of the recorded proceeding.

Go to the Clerk's online Electronic Records Request application to submit a service request online. You must create an account to use this feature.

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An e-mail address is required. Please write your account ID and Password down and save it for future reference. You will need a case number and the name of the document you are requesting. Documents and hearings may be returned electronically. Please check with the agency you are requesting a certified document for to determine if an electronic certified copy is acceptable.


If you do not know your case number and wish to pay the clerk a fee to research your case number please include the parties names, approximate year of filing providing multiple years increase your success , type of case divorce, criminal, juvenile etc. Subscribe to our content! Follow us on Twitter. We are looking for contributing authors with expertise in media law, intellectual property, First Amendment, and other related fields to join us as guest bloggers. If you are interested, please contact us for more details. Skip to main content. Welcome to the website of the Digital Media Law Project.

Due to popular demand the Berkman Klein Center is keeping the website online, but please note that the website and its contents are no longer being updated.

Case File Copies

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Open Public Records - Public Disclosure in WA State

Will E. Court's Privacy Ruling Break the Internet? Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Service and Research at the Frontier of Media Law. Disclaimer Information in this guide is based on general principles of law and is intended for information purposes only; we make no claim as to the comprehensiveness or accuracy of the information. It is not offered for the purpose of providing individualized legal advice. Total Views: 1,, Recording Phone Calls and Conversations. Administrative records, however, are not usually available to the public. Financial Account Numbers — If financial account numbers are relevant and should therefore be identified, you must include only the last four digits.

Examples of financial account numbers include credit card account numbers and bank account numbers. Driver License Numbers — You must black out or delete all driver license numbers. A Court Clerk will NOT review the documents you file to make sure you have redacted all personal identifiers. General Rule 15 of the Washington Court Rules, also called GR 15, tells you how to get court records sealed, or get specific information in those records redacted, to protect your privacy.

It also tells you how to get sealed records unsealed. The rule applies to all records from any court, in any civil or criminal case, and whether the records are paper or electronic. NOTE: There are no self-help materials for filing a motion to seal, redact, or unseal court records. You will probably need a lawyer to help you. When a whole court file is sealed all the information in the file, or documents added later to that file, is secured from public access. When a particular court document is sealed it is removed from the court file and a filler sheet is inserted, showing that the document is sealed.

The sealed document is secured from public access. When information is redacted from a court document, the original document is removed from the court file and secured from public access. Then a copy of the document with the private information blacked out or erased is put in the court file. To get a court record sealed, you must bring a motion — an official request — before a judge. In the motion, you must convince the judge that you have serious privacy or safety concerns that outweigh any public interest in having access to those records.

If your motion is granted, the judge can order a whole court file, or a particular document, sealed. If the judge decides that only some of the information in a document should be kept from public access, the judge will protect only that information, not the whole document. He or she will order you to prepare a version of the document that blocks out the protected information but leaves the rest available to the public. This will be filed in the court records, along with notice that it is a redacted version.

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The original document will be sealed. A judge can order documents in a civil case be unsealed if all parties agree, or if you prove that the original reason for sealing the documents no longer exists. If you are involved in a family court or guardianship court action in Washington State, you have some special privacy protections.

These forms can protect you against possible identity theft.

Clerk of Superior Court Home Page

They keep the public from seeing some personal identifiers listed below in information that you have to share with the court. These are the personal identifiers that should be sealed from public access in family court matters:.

Your social security number. Your driver license number. Your telephone number.

Your financial account numbers. This packet includes these forms:. Again, before you buy or use any pattern form, make sure you have the newest version. See Resources below to learn when these forms were last updated and how to get them. You will find the date the form was last updated in the lower left corner of the form. Some have the option of filing either electronically or in paper. Others you must file in paper. If you are filing paper copies with the court, you may need to file two copies of the cover sheets with the court clerk. One copy will go in the general court file, which the public may access, to show that the court has received these documents.

The other copy, along with your sealed documents, will become part of your sealed file.