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Administrative Records Request Information

Public Access to Administrative Records

Under the Washington Supreme Court’s General Rule (or "GR") 31.1, courts’ administrative records are accessible to the public unless access is exempted or prohibited by that rule or by other court rules, federal statutes, state statutes, court orders, or case law. GR 31.1 has detailed information on public access to administrative records, and we are committed to fully complying with this rule.  

What are administrative records?  GR 31.1 defines them this way:  “ ‘Administrative records’ ” are records for the operation of the court as a whole, rather than for a judge personally.  Specifically, under GR 31.1, ‘administrative records’ are public records created by or maintained by the court and related to the management, supervision, or administration of the court.”

Each court has a public records officer.  For Cowlitz County District Court, the public records officer and contact information is:

            Public records officer:                         Court Administrator Dee Wirkkala

            Address:                                              312 SW 1st Avenue

                                                                        Kelso WA  98626

            Telephone:                                           (360) 577-3073

            Fax:                                                     (360) 577-3132

            Email:                                                 

Requests for administrative records must be in writing.  You may use this form to make a request.  Within 5 working days of receiving your request, the public records officer will let you know we have received it, and give you an estimate of how long it will take to respond. 

There is no fee to view administrative records.  The court charges the following fees for copies of administrative records:

            Paper copy from electronic image                  25 cents per page

            Paper copy from hard copy                            50 cents per page

            CD                                                                  $20

            Research                                                        $30 per hour starting with 2nd hour 

            Certified copies                                               $5 for 1st page of a document

                                                                                    $1 for each additional page of a document

            Postage                                                            Actual cost

            Miscellaneous                                                  Actual cost

These fees are subject to change without notice.

If you disagree with the public records officer’s decision on your request, you may request an “internal review” within 90 days of the date of that decision.  Your request must be in writing. 

Within 5 working days of receiving the request, the court’s presiding judge or the most senior judge available will conduct the review and provide a response.

If you disagree with the result of the internal review, you have two alternatives for “external review.”  (1) You may file a civil action in Cowlitz County Superior Court. See GR 31.1(d)(4)(i).  (2) You may request informal review by a judge from another court.  See GR 31.1(d)(4)(ii).  The deadline for requesting external review under either alternative is 30 days after the issuance of the court’s internal review decision.  
 

You may use this form to request review of an administrative records decision. 
 

Administrative records resources:

GR 31.1
 

Cowlitz County District Court Policy and Procedures
 

Obtaining Administrative Public Records
 

Administrative Records Request Form
 

Request for Review




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