- What are the hours of the Clerk's Office?
- Is there a fee to file a response to an existing case in Clark County?
- How do I obtain the forms for filing a Divorce or Modification child support or custody?
- How do I file for divorce in Clark County?
- Where do I find information regarding eviction?
- Does the Clark County Clerk accept fax filings?
- How do I reschedule my court date?
- How do I obtain a restraining order?
- How do I find a lawyer?
- I am doing family history research and need to know what types of cases are public record?
- What is Probate?
- How do I register a Domestic Partnership?
- Where do I find forms for Guardianship reporting?
- How do I vacate a criminal conviction?
- What are the court approved legal newspapers in Clark County?
- Who are adoptees or birth parents supposed to contact regarding adoption records searches?
- How do I obtain foreign depositions?
- What do I do with my original will for safekeeping?
- Who can I contact to get my name changed?
The Clerk's Office is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Clerk's Office is closed on legal holidays.
No. There is no fee to file a response to an existing case.
The Clerk's Office sells packets of forms for divorce, which is a dissolution of marriage, and modification of child support or custody. The modification packets cost $30.00 each. Dissolution of marriage w/o children is $30.00, and for dissolution of marriage with children is $50.00. These forms are also available for download from the Administrator for the Courts
There are several self-help instructions for various types of domestic relations type cases available from the Administrator for the Court. The instructions are located on the Forms List page of the Administrator for the Court's web site.
If you are doing a do-it-yourself divorce and are not represented by an attorney, you are responsible for the accuracy of all pleadings you file with the court. You can obtain a packet of forms used for filing a dissolution at the clerk's office for a fee, or you may download forms and instructions from the Administrator for the Courts. Once your forms are filled out and you are ready to file, be prepared to pay a $290.00 filing fee, or if indigent bring a fee waiver form with $20.00 cash. There is an informative consumer information pamphlet available online from the Washington State Bar Association that provides some general information for dissolution of marriage.
If you need assistance you can contact the Family Law Court Facilitator. The Facilitator can help identify which mandatory family law forms are needed, review the forms for completeness, help schedule court hearings, explain court procedures, make referrals to other agencies for additional information or assistance. The Court Facilitators cannot give legal advice or provide legal representation.
The Washington State Bar Association provides an information pamphlet regarding Landlord/Tenant disputes on there Web site.
The Clerk has no authority to reschedule a court date. Example: If you appeared in court on a criminal matter and were ordered to return to court on a future date for arraignment then you must be in court on the date ordered. If you fail to appear in court as ordered on a pending criminal case then the court will authorize a bench warrant for your arrest to issue. If you have bail posted you could also be subject to forfeiture of that bail.
On civil or domestic cases only the attorney or party citing the motion before the court may cancel or reschedule the motion. If you need to request that a motion be set over to another date on a civil matter then you need to contact the attorney who cited the matter before the court and ask that attorney if the motion can be cited to another date. If the attorney agrees then he will file a new citation for the new court date. If the attorney does not agree to set the motion to another date then you must appear in court on the date cited if you wish to be heard.
This is a question that is often times asked but can be confusing, because a restraining order is only one kind of court order. There are also domestic violence protection orders, no-contact orders, and civil anti harassment protection orders. See the following document for an explanation of the various types of orders. Comparison of Court Orders In Clark County domestic violence protection orders are processed by the Court Facilitator office on the 1st floor of the courthouse. Anti harassment protection orders are processed by Clark County District Court on the Ground floor of the courthouse. The first step to obtain a protection order is to contact the clerk in the Court Facilitator's Office as they have the forms available to the public that need to be filled out to begin the process. The clerk can also review your situation to determine if an anti harassment protection order would be more appropriate and you will be referred to District Court in that instance.
If you have questions about the general process involved in obtaining a protection order there is a guide to the process at the web site of the Administrator of the Courts, "Domestic Violence Protection Order Process." There is also a video at the following web page you may watch http://www.clark.wa.gov/courts/dvvidio.html You may also call Clark County Clerk at (360) 397-2292 for further information on domestic violence and anti harassment protection orders.
There are many lawyer referral services. You can get a list of these services from the Southwest Washington Lawyer Referral Service (360) 695-0599.
The following case types are public record: Case type 1 - Criminal felony cases, Case type 2 - Civil cases, Case type 3 - Domestic Relations cases such as divorce and child custody, Case Type 4 - Probate & Guardianship, Case Type 8 - Juvenile Offender. These types of cases may be viewed at the clerk's office under the supervision of the Clerk's Office, and you may purchase copies from the file for the usual fee which is .50 per page for uncertified. For certified copies the charge is $5.00 for the 1st page and $1.00 for each page thereafter per document.
Probate is the process of transferring property when a person dies.
Domestic Partnerships are registered with the Secretary of State's Office in Olympia effective July 22, 2007. For more information go to the following Web site for forms and instructions: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/
13. Where do I find forms for Guardianship reporting?
14. How do I vacate a criminal conviction?
The forms needed for a Motion to Vacate a Felony Conviction pursuant to RCW 9.94A.640 and for Motion to Seal Court File pursuant to Court Rule GR15 are available online at the Administrative Office of the Court's Web site: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms.
To vacate a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor conviction, forms & instructions are located on the Administrative Office of the Courtís Web site: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/ .
More information about vacating and expunging of convictions can be found at the following Web site: http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/content/GuideToCrimHistoryRecords.pdf
15. What are the court approved legal newspapers in Clark County?
Per RCW 65.16.040, newspapers need to be approved as legal newspapers by the Superior Court in the county in which the newspapers are published. This is necessary when certain notices, summons, or other official documents are required to be published by law. The following newspapers are court approved:
- The Columbian, 415 West 6th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660-3110, phone: (360) 694-3391
- The Reflector, 20 NW 20th Avenue,Battleground, WA 98604-4226, phone: (360) 687-5151
- The Post Record, 425 NE 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607-2129, phone: (360) 834-2141
- The Vancouver Business Journal, 1251 Officers Row, Vancouver, WA 98661, phone: (360)695-2442
Karen M. King
Washington Adoption Reunion Movement (WARM) Confidential Intermediaries
PO Box 821670
Vancouver, WA 98682
2317 NE Adler Ct
7575 S.W. Alta Vista Dr.
Port Orchard, WA 98367
17. How do I obtain foreign depositions?
These pleadings are used in an existing Clark County case when out-of-state depositions are needed. A new action will be filed in another state. CR 45(d)(3) The following pleadings are normally filed or presented ex parte to request a deposition out-of-state, using the Clark County case number:
- Petition (or Motion and Declaration) for Commission to Take Out-of-State Deposition (original + one copy to conform).
- Notice of Taking Deposition outside of state (original + one copy).
- Notice of Issue (unless submitted to Clerk’s Office for ex parte presentation ).
- Clark County fees: ex parte fee ($30.00 if submitted to Clerk for ex parte presentation) and fee for a certified copy of the Commission and Order.
Order Granting Commission to Take Deposition Out of State (original + one copy).Note: if the Clerk is directed to issue the Commission, include the statement “CLERK’S ACTION REQUIRED”
Commission to Take Deposition Outside the State of Washington (original + one copy).
- Preaddressed, stamped envelope and extra copies to return as conformed copies (if submitted to Clerk for ex parte presentation).
These pleadings are used in an existing out-of-state case when Clark County depositions are needed. A new action will be filed in Clark County. CR 45(d)(4) In the event a Subpoena is needed from the Clark County Superior Court for an out-of-state case, the following is submitted:
Petition with authorities for an Order to Issue directing issuance of a Deposition Subpoena (original + one copy to conform).
Certified copy of Commission to Take an Out-of-State Deposition issued by the initiating court, along with all the paperwork from the other court granting the Commission, which may include: Notice of Taking Deposition Out-of-State; Order that a Commission issue to take an out-of-state deposition; Commission to take an Out-of-State Deposition.
Letter to Assigned Judge showing authorities, if authorities are not included in the Petition.
- Clark County fees: filing fee ($240.00); ex parte fee ($30.00, if request is made by mail) and Subpoena issuance fee ($20.00).
Proposed Order Directing Clerk to Issue Deposition Subpoena with notation of “CLERK’S ACTION REQUIRED” (original + one copy).
- Proposed Deposition Subpoena directed to the individual with a signature block to be signed by the Clerk (original + two copies).
- Preaddressed, stamped envelope and extra copies to return as conformed copies (if request is made by mail).
18. What do I do with my original will for safekeeping?
The Clerk’s Office offers a will repository service. RCW 11.12.265 allows the filing of an original will with the court, under seal, before the death of the testator. The fee for this service is $20.00 per will or codicil as set by RCW 36.18.016(28). The will may be withdrawn by the testator upon showing of proper identification. Any other person, such as an attorney or Guardian, may withdraw the original will only with a court order after showing of good cause. Upon request and presentation of a certified copy of the testator’s death certificate, the Clerk’s Office will unseal the file. If a probate file is opened at that time, the full filing fee must be charged per RCW 36.18.020(2)(f).
The Superior Court does not accept petitions for name changes, unless it is part of a domestic case or is a confidential name change in a Domestic Violence situation. For more information on petitioning the court to get your name changed in Clark County, please contact the Clark County District Court. If you are requesting a confidential name change please contact the Superior Court Clerk's Office.