Public Records

Cowlitz County Public Disclosure Process (Public Records)

Cowlitz County responds to requests for access to public records in accordance with the Public Records Act.  Information about public records can be found out at RCW 42.56 and WAC 44-14.  View the Cowlitz County public records policies and procedures.

Cowlitz County is committed to providing the fullest assistance possible to ensure access to records containing information about the conduct of Cowlitz County government.  In the interest of transparency and responsibility to all residents, taxpayers and other constituents, Cowlitz County aims to make the process of obtaining public records as easy as possible. Many public records are readily available on Cowlitz County’s website using the search function.  We recommend reviewing the commonly requested records below for guidance.   

When making your request please be as specific as possible so we can conduct a thorough and accurate search.

SUBMIT A REQUEST

Cowlitz County offers an online Public Records Request Portal to submit your request. Through the portal, customers have the ability to create an account, submit requests, review FAQ’s, download records, monitor the status of their current/previously submitted requests(s), and communicate with county public records representatives.  Review the commonly requested records prior to submitting a public records request.  

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST THROUGH THE PORTAL.

Commonly Requested Records:  All Cowlitz County departments maintain their own web page that includes information regarding the records they maintain.  Click HERE to review each department to best direct your request.  

Police Reports: The Sheriff’s Office fulfills record requests for their office, the Longview Police Department, and the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force.  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 contacted directly in order to obtain records from their agency.  

Court records: Court records are not available online through the portal.   Pursuant to WAC 44-14-01001, Court records are not subject to this 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. To request court records, please contact the Clerk’s Office at 360-577-3016. Reasonable charges may apply.

District Court: https://www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/186/District-Court 

Superior Court: http://www.cowlitzsuperiorcourt.us/ 

Written requests:  To submit a request in writing complete the Request for Public Records form and send the form to the Public Records Coordinator of the department where the record was created and maintained.  Please submit a separate request to each independent department you are seeking records from.  

Request for Public Records Form

Public Records Coordinators

Within five business days of receipt of the request the county will either: (1) provide the record(s); OR (2) acknowledge the request and provide a reasonable time estimate for the response; OR (3) deny the request. The County will charge a fee of $0.15 per copy plus the cost of mailing. Payment may be required before copying or mailing.