Commonly Asked Questions
What can the Grant County Clerk’s Office staff do?
- Tell you the status of a specific
case, unless the case or information in the case is confidential. Confidential
information is not available to the public because of state law or a judge’s
here for more information on confidential information)
- Provide the court file on a
specific case for you to review. If the case is confidential, you will need a
court order to see the file.
- Give you general information on
court rules, procedures and practices.
- Provide court-approved or
required forms or tell you where you can find forms. There may be a charge for
some forms. Forms are not available for all legal proceedings.
- Offer guidance on how to compute
some deadlines and due dates.
- Provide court schedules and
information on how to get matters scheduled.
- Provide the telephone number of
the local attorney referral service or information about other agencies that may
Note: The Grant County Clerk’s Office staff
does not know the answers to all questions about court rules, procedures and
What can the Grant County
Clerk’s Office NOT do?
- Advise you about whether you
should file a case or whether you should take any particular action in a case.
- Tell you what words to put in a
- Tell you what to say in court.
- Tell you what decision the judge
will make or what sentence the judge will impose.
- Comment about specific persons
you may name in a petition or pleading.
- Apply the law nor give directions
about how to respond in any aspect of the legal process.
- Change an order signed by a
- Let you talk to a judge outside
LEGAL ADVICE: Grant County Clerk’s
Office staff provides information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice,
please contact an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may wish to call
the Lawyer Referral Program of the Washington State Bar Association, at
206-727-8200, for the name of an attorney practicing in this area.
Do you have the legal forms
The legal forms available from the County Clerk 's Office are those required for filing
domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Some legal forms are
available from office supply or book stores and from various public legal
services agencies. Forms to waive the filing fee - In Forma
Pauperis - are only available from the County Clerk's Office (only
applies to some cases).
Forms to Print
Washington pattern forms are required for filing
in any family law case, i.e., dissolution of marriage (divorce), child custody,
modification of support, paternity, etc. You may obtain the forms in the
- In person - The Grant County
Clerk’s office located on the Second Floor of the
Law & Justice Building, Room 218 located at 35 C
Street NW, Ephrata, WA 98823. You must have cash,
check or money order for payment of these forms. We
do not accept Visa card payments. However we do
accept American Express, MasterCard and Discover
Washington State Courts
www.courts.wa.gov/forms provides access to court forms and instructions.
I cannot afford an
attorney, can you help me?
Grant County Clerk’s
Office staff provides information, not legal advice. The following links are
helpful sources for free or low cost legal services:
What can I do if I am a
victim of Domestic Violence?
Whether or not you have a court order, if you
are being harassed, threatened, or assaulted, call 9-1-1 or your local police!!
More useful information can be found at:
What type of court
records are maintained by the County Clerk?
The County Clerk must keep
all court records for the Superior Court. They are classified into the following
Civil / Foreign Judgments
/ Tax Warrants / Emancipation of Minors
Domestic - Divorce / Child
Support / Custody
Probate / Wills /
Mental Illness /
Alcohol Commitment *
Juvenile Dependency /
At Risk Youth / Truancy *
Juvenile Offenders -
Prior to July 1, 1978 *
Judgments resulting from a
case filed in above case types
Confidential Case Types - Not accessible to the public
Injury to Public Records
Every person who shall willfully and unlawfully remove, alter, mutilate,
destroy, conceal or obliterate a record, map, book, paper, document, or other
thing filed or deposited in a public office, or with any public officer, by
authority of the law shall be punished by imprisonment in a state correctional
facility for not more than five years, or by a fine of not more than one
thousand dollars, or by both.
RCW 26.33.330 Records Sealed - inspection only on court order.
(1) All records of any proceeding under this chapter shall be sealed and shall
not be thereafter opened to inspection by any person except under order of the
court for good cause shown, or except by using the procedure described in RCW
26.33.343 (relating to confidential intermediaries). In determining whether good
cause exists, the court shall consider any certified statement on file with the
Department of Health as provided in RCW 26.33.347 (desire to be contacted).
(2) The state registrar of vital statistics may charge a reasonable fee for the
review of any of its sealed records.
Explanatory note: Accessible to authorized court staff only. Attorney of
record may have access to the file, however, once the case is completed - a
court order is required for any access to the file. Individuals including the
parties must obtain a court order authorizing the clerk to provide certain
information or copies.
RCW 26.26.041 - Protection of participants.
Proceedings under this chapter are subject to other laws of this state governing
the health, safety, privacy, and liberty of a child or other individuals that
could be jeopardized by disclosure of identifying information, including the
address, telephone number, place of employment, social security number, and the
child's day-care facility and school.
Explanatory note: Under the statute all papers and other records are
confidential except the judgment of paternity itself - the judgment is a matter
of public record. Only parties of record and attorney of record can access the
paternity file by providing valid identification to staff. Over the telephone,
clerk staff can only verify if a judgment exists and provide the judgment
Illness / Alcohol Commitment: RCW 71.05.390 - Confidential information and
Under the statute all papers and other records are confidential and only open to
the patient and the patient's attorney of record by providing valid
identification to staff. The existence of any case to the public is not allowed.
Juvenile Dependency / At Risk Youth /
Truancy: RCW 13.50.100
Records not relating to commission of
juvenile offenses - Maintenance and access - Disclosure
Under the statute all papers and other records are confidential and only open to
the dependent, the dependent's parents (except not to a parent whose parental
rights have been terminated) or to the dependent's or parent's attorney of
record (except not when the parent's parental rights have been terminated), a
court appointed guardian Ad Litem, and the attorney general. The dependency
hearings are open to the public unless otherwise determined by the judicial
officer. Any appointed guardian has access to the order appointing them guardian
only. (In summary: If the parental rights have been terminated by the court the
file is no longer accessible by those parties to the action.)
Juvenile Offender: RCW 13.50.250
Juvenile offender cases filed prior to July 1,
1978 are all confidential, available only to the juvenile, the juvenile's
parents (except not to a parent whose parental rights have been terminated
through a separate dependency filing), the attorney of record, and the
prosecutor. Juvenile offender cases filed on or after July 1, 1978 are public
How do I get copies of the
documents in my court file?
Court records are maintained by the clerk of
each separate court. A court can only address requests made concerning records
of cases filed in that court. If you were charged with crimes in several
different courts, you will need to make your request to each separate court.
Copies of non-confidential court documents may
be obtained by mail, in person or email. Payments may be made in cash, cashier’s
check, law firm check, money order, personal check, or
debit/credit card (Visa is not accepted as they do not
participate in government programs). Please make your
check payable to: Grant County Clerk.
An additional resource for obtaining
copies using a credit/debit card can be found at:
(click here) for details on costs
for copies obtained directly from the Clerk's office
How do I get my record
Whether a court record of conviction may be
vacated, sealed, or destroyed depends upon the type of conviction (felony or
misdemeanor), and the court where the conviction was obtained (juvenile or
Forms requesting that the court vacate your misdemeanor
or gross misdemeanor conviction may be obtained from
Forms requesting that the court vacate
your non-violent felony convictions may be obtained from
Criminal History and Criminal Records: A Guide on When, and How to Challenge,
Seal, Vacate, or Expunge
Source: King County Law Library