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Washington Court Records

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Clark County Court Records

Clark County court records are official documents pertaining to legal proceedings heard within the county’s jurisdiction. These records provide a comprehensive overview of past and ongoing cases, including court decisions. They include indexes, calendars, dockets, registers of action, orders, decrees, judgments, minutes, and any details within a case management system. However, a court record does not include data kept by or on behalf of a judge relating to a specific case or individual, including personal annotations and messages, preliminary notes, drafts, or other preparatory documents. Also, the term does not cover data collected, preserved, or held by a public agency or another body that the court can access but which has not been officially recorded (GR 31(c)(4)).

Are Court Records Public in Clark County?

Yes. In Clark County, court records are considered public information per the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 42.56. This law emphasizes a general policy of openness for government records, including those held by the courts.

However, while the Washington Public Records Act ensures broad access to court records, certain exemptions exist to balance transparency with protecting sensitive information and individual privacy. These exemptions include:

  • Juvenile Records: Records of juvenile court proceedings are generally confidential to protect the privacy of minors. Limited information may be accessible to specific parties or by court order.
  • Mental Health Records: These are typically shielded to secure the privacy of individuals receiving mental health treatment or undergoing evaluation.
  • Sensitive Personal Information: Certain personal details, such as Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, financial account numbers, and medical information, may be redacted or protected from public disclosure to prevent identity theft or privacy breaches.
  • Attorney-Client Privilege: Communications between attorneys and clients are not subject to public disclosure.
  • Trade Secrets and Proprietary Information: Court records bearing trade secrets or other proprietary information may be exempt from public disclosure to safeguard the interests of businesses or individuals.
  • Ongoing Investigations or Litigation: In some instances, court records pertaining to ongoing investigations or litigation may be temporarily sealed or withheld from public access to prevent prejudice.
  • Victim Information: Information that could potentially identify victims, particularly in sensitive or violent crimes, may be redacted or withheld to ensure their privacy and safety.

Clark County Court Records Search

The Clark County Clerk's Office offers various channels for the public to access court records. These include in-person visits, online searches, and requests via mail or email. Thus, individuals seeking court records have diverse avenues to explore for their search needs.

Clark County Court Records Search by Name

When seeking court records in Clark County by name, requesters should start by visiting the official website of the Clark County Clerk. On the site, they should locate the Odyssey Portal and enter the relevant name into the search bar. Subsequently, the system will generate a list of court records associated with that name, covering civil, criminal, and family law cases.

Requesters should be aware that accessing detailed case records requires payment of fees, and additional charges may apply if copies are needed.

Clark County Courts

The Clark County court system comprises several courts, including:

Clark County Superior Court
1200 Franklin Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

 

Clark County District Court
610 Esther Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

 

Clark County Juvenile Court
500 West 11th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

 

Camas-Washougal Municipal Court
89 C Street
Washougal, WA 98671
Phone: (564) 397-2125

 

Battle Ground Municipal Court
109 Southwest 1st Street, Suite 272
Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: (360) 342-5150

Clark County Superior Court Case Search

The Superior Court of Clark County hears various cases, including civil, criminal, family law, probate, and juvenile matters. Individuals can search for cases heard by the court through the Odyssey Portal (also called the Washington Courts Online Case Search). The portal can be searched with a party name or case number.

Alternatively, individuals can visit the Clerk of the Clark County Superior Court's Office in person. Inquirers can fill out the Records Request Form and pay the associated fees. For instance, a $30 search fee may apply for requests with no case number. Additionally, obtaining paper copies costs 50 cents per page, email copies cost 25 cents per page, and certified copies cost $5 for the first page and $1 for each subsequent page.

Clark County District Court Records

The Clark County District Court handles a range of cases, including traffic infractions, misdemeanors, civil cases with amounts up to $100,000, small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, and protection orders.

Individuals can visit the Clerk of the Clark County District Court's Office during business hours to request court records. Those unable to stop by the office can mail or email a completed Records Request Form to the Clerk's office.

All record requests are subject to fees. The research or processing fee is $20, and paper copies cost 50 cents per page. Additionally, a fee of $5 for the first page and $1 per additional page must be paid for certified copies.

Clark County Criminal Records

Clark County criminal records detail arrests and charges within the jurisdiction. Law enforcement agencies, such as the Clark County Sheriff's Office and municipal police departments, preserve these records.

The Washington Public Records Act (Chapter 42.56 RCW) regulates the accessibility of criminal records in Clark County. This Act permits the disclosure of certain criminal records, except for sensitive or confidential data.

To access criminal records in Clark County, individuals must follow a formal process, which may vary depending on the specific agency holding the records. Nonetheless, one must generally:

Identify the Correct Agency: Determine which law enforcement agency holds the record. Depending on where the incident occurred, this could be the Clark County Sheriff's Office or a local police department.

Submit a Records Request: Submit a formal records request. This request may be submitted in writing or online. For example, requesters can submit an online record request to the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Provide Identification: In many cases, requestors may need some form of identification to verify their identity and eligibility to access the records.

Pay the Required Fee: Some agencies may charge fees for processing record requests per the RCW 42.56.120(2) & (3). These fees vary based on the type and volume of information requested.

Review the Records: The agency may provide the requested records in electronic or hard copy format. Requestors may then review the documents for the information they need.

Clark County Criminal Court Case Lookup

Individuals can utilize the Odyssey Portal to look up criminal court cases originating from Clark County. Searching cases filed since 1979 costs $5 and includes a written verification form. For cases filed before 1979, an additional research fee of $30 applies.

Individuals should note that requests for criminal court case searches are accepted solely via regular mail.

Clark County Clerk's Office
Attention: Criminal Department
P.O. Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000

Each requester must include the following details:

  • The defendant's full name (last, first, and middle name)
  • Date of birth or other personal identifier
  • An approximate date of the offense and possible criminal charge if seeking specific criminal filing information
  • A $5 fee
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope

Certain criminal cases may be restricted from public view, especially if a case is part of an ongoing investigation or bears sensitive information. Juvenile cases may have additional access restrictions to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.

Get Clark County Civil Court Records

Civil court records encompass various documents related to civil cases, including complaints, summonses, pleadings, motions, orders, and judgments. Collectively, these records provide a comprehensive overview of the proceedings and outcomes of civil cases within a jurisdiction.

Persons interested in acquiring civil court documents in Clark County can begin at the Clark County Superior Court Clerk's Office. They can provide information about the case they seek, including the names of the participants and the case number if known. This information enables court personnel to locate responsive records.

Individuals can access civil court records by visiting the Clerk's Office in person, where court staff can assist requesters. If an in-person visit is impossible, they may request the records by mail. The mail request should list sufficient information to identify the sought-after record and include the relevant research and copy fees.

Clark County Family Court Records

The Family Court Division of the Clark County Superior Court typically hears family law cases in Clark County. This division handles various family law cases, including divorce, child support, child custody, paternity, domestic violence protection orders, and adoption.

To obtain family court records, individuals can visit the Clerk of the Superior Court's Office. The Clerk offers public computer terminals to look up court cases. Inquirers can also request document copies during office hours. Fees apply for certified copies and extensive searches.

Alternatively, one may access the Odyssey Portal to search for case information by case number or party name. Odyssey users can view case summaries, calendars, and a list of filed documents. For extensive access, requesters can subscribe to OnBase, which provides 24/7 access to electronic records, including family law cases.

It should be noted that some family court records, such as adoptions, may not be publicly accessible.

Clark Dissolution of Marriage Records

Copies of dissolution of marriage (divorce) records) in Clark County can be requested from the Clerk of the Superior Court's office in person or via mail. Certified copies are priced at $5 for the initial page and $1 for each subsequent page. For non-certified copies, the fee is 50 cents per page if mailed or 25 cents per page if emailed. Records from 1996 onwards can also be copied onto a CD for 25 cents per page, along with a $20 CD fee and postage.

However, for documents predating 1996, an additional $30 search fee may apply.

Clark County Marriage and Divorce Records

In Clark County, marriage and divorce records are maintained by the Clark County Auditor's Office and the Clark County Superior Court, respectively. These records are considered public documents and are available for viewing and copying, subject to specific regulations and procedures.

Individuals can request Clark County marriage records in person, by mail, or online through the Auditor's Office. In-person requests can be made at the office, where staff can assist with the process. Alternatively, a Clark County marriage certificate can be obtained by mail by filling out a marriage records request form and sending it along with the required fee to the Auditor's office.

Online requests may also be made and paid through the Clark County Official Records Search website. Non-certified copies cost $1 per page, whereas certified copies cost $3 for the first page. There is an extra charge for each certified copy of a document ordered from the Washington State Digital Archives. Certain charges do not apply to those who are or were in the military.

To obtain divorce records in Clark County, individuals typically need to contact the Clark County Superior Court Clerk's Office. These records can be obtained by mail or in person.

Clark County Birth and Death Records

The Public Health Vital Records office is the official Clark County birth and death records repository. People can request Clark County birth and death certificates in person, by mail, or online through a third-party vendor.

A requester who visits the Vital Records office can seek assistance from staff on the required forms, documents, or fees. The Vital Records Division also receives requests via mail where the requesters fill out a Clark County birth certificate request form or death record request form, respectively, and pay the necessary fees.

Generally, birth and death records have public access limitations. In Washington, the standard restriction period for birth records is 100 years from the date of birth, while the established restriction period for death records is 50 years from the date of death. However, registrants, their close relatives, legal representatives, and anyone with a tangible or legal interest can request birth and death certificates, regardless of a record's age.

Records of births and deaths are essential for several reasons. They are necessary to demonstrate citizenship, family ties, and legal identity. They are also employed statistically, which aids in developing public health policies and distributing resources. These documents are essential for conducting genealogy research, settling estates, claiming pension benefits, and other legal purposes.

Clark County Probate Court Records

Probate court records in Clark County cover a range of cases, including estate administration, guardianships, trusts, and mental health commitments. These records are available through the Clark County Superior Court Clerk's Office. Members of the public can review probate files during specified office hours at public terminals. They can also request copies from the Clerk's Office in person or by mail at a fee. An additional search fee may be charged for probate records dated before 1996, which are stored on microfilm.

Moreover, the Clerk's Office offers subscriptions to the OnBase system, providing online public access to electronic records, including probate records.

Clark County Property Records

The Clark County Auditor's Office maintains records of all recorded real estate instruments (property records) since September 1998 and provides copies to interested individuals by mail, in person, or online. Anyone seeking a Clark County property record by mail can follow these steps:

  • Fill out the Request for Certified Copy form, including the recording number, the name listed on the document, and the document type.
  • Make payment by check payable to the "Clark County Auditor". Each uncertified copy costs $1 per page. For certified copies, the first page is $3, and each additional page is $1.
  • Mail the completed form, payment, and a self-addressed and stamped envelope to the following address:

Clark County Auditor's Office
Attention: Recording Department
P.O. Box 5000 Vancouver, WA 98666-5000

Alternatively, individuals can personally visit the Auditor's Office to request and pay for records in cash.

Clark County Auditor's Office
Recording Department 1300 Franklin Street
2nd Floor Vancouver, WA 98666
Phone: (564) 397-2208
Fax: (564) 397-2137

One can also access the Clark County Official Records Search website to search for and view Clark County property records.

Property records in Clark County provide detailed information about local properties, including ownership history, physical characteristics, tax assessment details, sales history, and land use information. Property owners, real estate professionals, government agencies, researchers, and other stakeholders usually require these records to verify a property claim, look up tax compliance, and conduct other due diligence.

Clark County Court Records Online

Online services provided by third parties like Washingtoncourtrecords.us offer inquirers an alternative means of accessing court records. However, even though these websites offer benefits like accessibility, convenience, and user-friendly interfaces, it is crucial to consider their limitations. These include possible expenses, inaccurate or out-of-date information, privacy concerns, and legal restrictions on sharing certain records.

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