The County Clerk is an elected official provided for by the Washington State Constitution whose responsibilities are assigned by local and state rules and statute.
The County Clerk serves and supports the Superior Court by receiving and processing court documents, attending and assisting in all court proceedings, maintaining the court's files, and entering its orders, judgments and decrees. The Clerk authenticates by certificate and/or transcript the records, and files procedures of the court. The Clerk maintains the record for all Felony Criminal, Civil, Dissolution, Probate, Mental, Adoptions, Guardianship and all Juvenile court proceedings. In addition to keeping all the original papers, it is mandatory the Clerk preserve and journalize all orders for security purposes. The Clerk also receipts and disburses the court's money and the money of litigants, at the court's direction.
Administrator of Court Records and Exhibits
All documents filed in a superior court cause of action are processed and maintained by the Clerk.
The process involves assigning case numbers and judges to new cases, classifying records, computer data entry, scanning and indexing in the optical imaging system and manual filing of hard copies.
Financial Officer for the Courts
The Clerk as an agent of the court, collects statutory fees, fines and trust funds. The trust account for monies received is maintained by the Clerk. An accounting system, set up in accordance with the State Auditor's guidelines, is maintained for receipting and disbursing monies.
As a consequence of some court orders, the Clerk exercises quasi-judicial functions in connection with the issuance of writs, subpoenas, warrants, letters testamentary, etc.
Ex Officio Clerk of the Court
As Ex Officio Clerk of Court, the Clerk is required to be present at all court proceedings for the purpose of receiving and marking court documents and exhibits. The Clerk is also tasked with creating an independent record of court proceedings.
Records Maintained by the County Clerk
The Clerk's Office is responsible for maintaining the records of the Superior Court. These records include filings within the following case types:
- Appeals/Review from lower courts or administrative agencies
- Contract/commercial cases
- Property rights cases
- Some types of writ petitions
- Injunctions, interpleaders
- Probate and guardianship cases
- Adoption and paternity cases
- Domestic Relations cases
- Mental illness cases
- Dependency cases
- Criminal Felony cases
- Juvenile Offender cases