General & Filing Information

The Clerk's Office Staff is prevented by law from giving legal advice. That includes answering the question "how do I serve the other person?" You will find that answer and more in the information or booklets prepared by the Court Facilitator or by contacting other resources provided within this website.

There is an initial filing fee to start (file) your case. There is no additional cost to file additional pleadings in the case once it has been "filed"/started. In some matters a reduction or waiver of the filing fee may be granted by the Court, if you submit the paperwork to request it. The forms are contained in the booklets or can be located at the Washington State Courts website.

Most of the pleadings (documents/papers) filed with the court will be filed in a court file accessible to the general public. All pleadings you or the other party file with the court will become part of a permanent record. You can view your court file and obtain copies of documents in the file at the Clerk's Office. One exception to this is the ‘Confidential Information' forms.

Confidential Pleadings
Some pleadings will need to be filed as "confidential" pleadings as they contain personal identifying information or confidential information. You are responsible to review the Court Rules and General Rules to determine which pleadings those are. The Clerk's staff does not differentiate those items for you it is your responsibility to do so. It is also your responsibility to redact (black out) any personal identifying information which may be contained in any attachment not governed by General Rule - GR 22.

The Confidential Information Form and the Addendum to Confidential Information Form cannot be viewed by the other party unless the court grants an order allowing access to the forms.  It is required by court rule that, at the time you file these documents, you must provide a cover page to each of these documents which contains your case information and the name of the pleading. This cover page (1 sheet of paper) will then be placed in the public file, while the rest of the papers will be placed in the restricted access file.

Local Court Rules
After the case has been initiated/started, Local Court Rules require your motions and other papers to be filed within specific timelines.  Please review these:
  • For all cases except Family Law:  Local Court Rule (LCR7) requires your motions and other papers to be filed with the Clerk at least 5 days prior to the day you (the moving party) desire the matter to be heard in court.
  • For all Family Law cases:  Local Special Proceedings Rule (LSPR 94.04(W)(2)(b)) requires your motion and other papers to be filed with the Clerk no later than 14 calendar days prior to your hearing date.  Family Law cases include: divorce, child custody / visitation and the like.
Document Size & Format
Please also review the General Rule 14 and the format guidelines (PDF) to make sure your documents are the proper size and format.

Your finished forms must be completed neatly. You may type them, or print them using black ink. Only documents with original, inked signatures can be filed in the Clerk's Office or provided for a Judge's signature. Remember if we can't read it, neither can anyone else. This may cause you frustration after your case is completed and you need to refer back to your documents.

Please review the section on Courtroom Conduct and Appearing in Court.

Copies
There is a fee for copy costs.

You should make photocopies of all the completed documents you will file with the court so you have copies for yourself and for serving on the other party. You may either make your own copies and bring them with you, or purchase copies at the Clerk's Office for a fee. (Cash only. Credit or Debit Cards are not accepted. Fee waivers do not apply to copy charges.) See the Fee Schedule for what the current copy fees are.