Commonly Requested Records
Cowlitz County provides online access to a wide-variety of public records and the records you seek may already be available online. Department descriptions and links to individual department websites are provided below. A requester must submit a separate request to each independent county department from which they are seeking records. Read the descriptions below to assist in submitting your request to the proper department.
Assessor's Office: The role of the Assessor is to estimate (appraise or assess) the value of all taxable property. The Assessor's Office currently provides online access to many records and information through their website. Please click HERE to be directed to the Assessor's Office website.
Auditor's Office: The Cowlitz County Auditor's Office facilitates access to information and services related to elections, licensing, recording and accounting services. The Auditor's Office records and provides access to over 150 types of documents. Document types include, but are not limited to land records (deeds, deeds of trust, easements, reconveyance, maps), agreements, community property agreements, judgements, liens, marriage certificates, oaths, and name change orders. In addition, the Auditor's Office has an index information of the following records: Birth Records from 1892 to June of 1907, Death Records fro 1892 to June of 1907, and Marriage Records from 1844. Please click HERE to be directed to the Auditor's Office website.
Board of County Commissioners: The Board of County Commissioners is the county's legislative authority. The County Commissioners adopt and enact ordinances, resolutions, and motions, levies taxes, appropriates revenue, and adopts the budgets for the county. The Cowlitz County Commissioner's Office provides public access to many records through their website. Please click HERE to be directed to the Board of County Commissioners' Public Records page.
Building and Planning Department: The Building and Planning Department administers and provides a wide-variety of permitting services through county planning, building permit coordination, environmental coordination, fire/life safety, and environmental health. Please click HERE to be directed to the Building and Planning Department's website.
Clerk of Superior Court: Court records are not available online through the portal. WAC 44-14-01001. Court records are not subject to the Public Records Act. Access to these records is governed by court rules and common law. Most of these court records are open to the public and easily accessible through the Clerk's Office. This includes any fees/fines associated with court cases and files. Please click HERE to be directed to the Superior Court Request Form. You will need to submit a request directly to the Superior Court Clerk's Office to obtain records from their department.
Coroner's Office: The Cowlitz County Coroner's Office provides professional medicolegal death investigation services in determining the cause, manner, and mechanism of death for those who die within their jurisdiction. Please click HERE to be directed to the Coroner's Office website.
Corrections Department/Jail: The Cowlitz County Corrections Department includes the division of the Cowlitz County Jail, which serves as the detention center for Longview, Kelso, Castle Rock, Kalama, Woodland, and all of the smaller communities of Cowlitz County. The Jail is the custodian of records associated with the detention of individuals in Cowlitz County. Please click HERE to be directed to the Corrections Department's website.
District Court: Court records are not available online through the portal. WAC 44-14-01001. Court records are not subject to the Public Records Act. Access to these records is governed by court rules and common law. Most of these records are open to the public and easily accessible through the District Court Clerk's Office. This includes any fees/fines associated with court cases, files and citations. Please click HERE to be directed to the District Court Office's website. You will need to submit a request directly to the District Court Clerk's Office to obtain records from their department.
Emergency Management Department: The Department of Emergency Management maintains an emergency management system by planning, preparing and providing for the prevention, mitigation and/or management of emergencies or disasters that present a threat to the lives and property of the citizens of, and visitors to, Cowlitz County. This is accomplished by coordinating the development of plans and procedures for response and recovery from major emergencies such as floods, earthquakes and hazardous materials incidents. Emergency Management also coordinates training for emergency response organizations, promoting community disaster preparedness for the citizens, develop and conduct exercises to test emergency response plans and procedures, facilitate warning and notification activities, and managing the emergency operation center. Please click HERE to be directed to the Emergency Management Department website.
Facilities Maintenance Department: Facilities Maintenance is responsible for maintenance and capital improvement for nine primary buildings that house the Justice Systems, Adult and Juvenile Detention, Morgue, Museum, Conference Center, EXPO buildings and the Administration building. Please click HERE to be directed to the Facilities Maintenance Department website.
Financial Management Department: The Office of Financial Management facilitates the Board of Commissioners in developing a fiscally sound budge for the operation of county government in its provisions of services to the citizens of the county. Please click HERE to be directed to the Financial Management Department's website.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS): The GIS Department provides mapping services, mapping software, training, and other spatially-related information to county departments. GIS also provides web-based maps for the public. Please click HERE to be directed to the GIS Department.
Health and Human Services Department: The Health and Human Services Department oversees programs in the following areas: Environment Health (Food Safety, Solid Waste Enforcement, Public Swimming Pools and Spas, Onsite Sewage Systems, Individual Water Wells and certain Public Water Systems), Community Health (Communicable Diseases Control and Response, Maternal and Child Health), Human Services (Developmental Disabilities, Homeless/Housing Programs) and Administration (Birth and Death Certificates, Veteran's Relief Fund, Emergency Preparedness and Response). Please click HERE to be directed to the Health and Human Services Department's website.
Human Resources Department: The Human Resources Department provides various employee services and oversees a variety of functions, including developing and administering personnel programs, negotiating and administering labor contracts for nine bargaining units, aiding managers in staffing and training, classifying jobs and determining compensation levels, and managing employee benefits programs. Job descriptions are readily available to the public and can be access through the Human Resources Department's website. Please click HERE to be directed to the Human Resources Department.
Information Technology Department: The Information Technology Department provides computer-related technology support and services to the departments and offices of the county. Please click HERE to be directed to the Information Technology Department.
Juvenile Court: The Juvenile Department is a part of the Superior Court System and has three main functions. Those three functions are courtroom proceedings, probation offices and detention. The Juvenile Department serves youth under 18 years of age. Juvenile Court records are not available through our online portal. Please click HERE to be directed to the Juvenile Court website. You will need to submit a request directly to Juvenile Court coordinator to request records from their department.
Museum: The Museum collects, preserves, and interprets information and artifacts that tell the story of Cowlitz County. Please click HERE to be directed to the Museum's website.
Noxious Weeds Department: The Noxious Weeds Control Board is available to help landowners and land managers with information, services, and resources to deal with invasive, non-native plant species. Please click HERE to be directed to the Noxious Weeds Department.
Office of Public Defense: The Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense represents people accused of crimes in the Cowlitz County court. They represent adults and juveniles in Superior Court, the Juvenile Court Division of Superior Court, and in District Court. Please click HERE to be directed to the Office of Public Defense's website.
Parks & Recreation Department: The Cowlitz County Parks and Recreation Department is made up of 10 parks including Riverside Park, Harry Gardner Park and Campground, Wood Brook Park, Coweeman River Park, Public Shooting Range, Finn Hall historical site, Catlin Cemetery, Cook Ferry Trail System, Cougar Wayside and Statute, and the Coal Creek Boat Launch. The Parks and Recreation Department provides a safe unified system of park trains, and recreational facilities. Please click HERE to be directed to the Parks & Recreational Department's website.
Prosecuting Attorney's Office: The Prosecuting Attorney's Office has many different functions that includes the criminal division, child support division, civil division, and victim services. Please click HERE to be directed to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Public Works Department: The Public Works Department operates and maintains roads, bridges, water, sewer, stormwater, and solid waste facilities throughout Cowlitz County. Please click HERE to be directed to the Public Works Department's website.
Purchasing Department: The Purchasing Department manages the PeopleSoft 9.2 purchasing module, maintains the County's P Card program with US Bank, assists with the procurement of materials and services, manages requests for proposals (RFP), manages invitations to bids (ITB), manages requests for qualifications (RFQ), assists with formal and informal bidding for small projects, maintains the vendor list and small works roster and consultant roster, manages municipal lease program and Enterprise EFleet, provides contract negotiations and review services, maintains county leases, manages surplus property and sales, and maintains the print shop and mail services. Please click HERE to be directed to the Purchasing Department's website.
Risk Management Department: The Office of Risk Management manages all county insurance policies, handles claims against the county, ensures the safety regulations are being followed, provides training for county employees and investigates accidents involving county employees and/or equipment. This office also administers the worker's compensation benefit program. Please click HERE to be directed to the Risk Management Department's website.
Sheriff's Office Records: The Sheriff's Office Records Department provides support to local law enforcement agencies, processes background checks for gun purchases and CPL applications, enters and houses police reports for the Sheriff's Office and provides those police reports through the public disclosure process. You may make your request using the online portal by selecting "Submit Request to the Sheriff's Office" to request such records. All other law enforcement agencies will need to be contact directly in order to obtain records from their agency. Please click HERE to be directed to the Sheriff's Office Records Department website.
Treasure's Office: The Treasurer's Office is trusted with the financial affairs of local government while acting as the bank for the county, school districts, fire districts, port districts and other various units of other local government. The Treasurer's Office receipts, disburses, invests, and accounts for the funds of each of these entities. In addition, the Treasurer's is charged with the collection of various taxes that benefit a wide range of governmental units. Please click HERE to be directed to the Treasurer's Office website.
WSU Extension: The WSU Extension programs connect the people and communities of Cowlitz County with the knowledge base of Washington State University to promote quality of life and advance economic well-being through fostering inquiry, learning, and the application of research. Please click HERE to be directed to the WSU Extension website.