Washington Court Records

Washington court records

The state of Washington has a traditional court structure involving several appellate, trial and hearing courts which include: The Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Superior Courts, District Courts, and Municipal Courts. Each type of court documents their proceedings to later provide publicly accessible court records.

The increases in Internet accessibility and growing capacity of digital storage have been major influences on the availability of court records today. It is no longer necessary to drive to the courthouse or law library during business hours and wait for a clerk or librarian to assist you in locating a document. Now the public and law professionals alike have millions of court records readily available at all times through online access.

History of Washington Court Records

The original Supreme Court of Washington existed while it was still a part of the Oregon Territory from 1848-1853. Later this territory separated and the new Washington territory comprised a Supreme Court with 3 justices. Washington officially joined the United States in 1889, and the state constitution called for five Supreme Court justices elected by the people.

Today, the Supreme Court of Washington has grown to nine justices which preside over all cases en banc since the formation of the Court of Appeals in 1969.

Washington Court Records Availability

The Administrative Office of the Court provides a statewide online search engine for criminal and civil cases filed in the Appellate, Superior, District, and Municipal Courts of Washington. Access to court records is available to the public, to conduct a search for court records of interest; you may use the case number, person’s name or business name.

The Washington State Law Library maintains a comprehensive printed compilation of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals briefs dating back to 1889 when Washington officially joined the United States.

Main Court Information

Located in Olympia, the Washington Supreme Court is the court of last resort and is composed of nine justices elected to six-year terms. The state’s constitution calls for a minimum of five justices, including a Chief Justice to serve at any given time. The main responsibilities of the Supreme Court are to interpret cases involving the state or federal constitutions, uphold the bar of Olympia by admitting and dismissing attorneys and justices, as well as handle appellate cases from lower courts.

The Court of Appeals differs from the Supreme Court as it is a non-discretionary appellate court, meaning it may not turn down cases that are appealed before the court, and must accept, review and issue a disposition for any case filed. The Court of Appeals is made up of three divisions based in different locations throughout the state and includes 22 judges. Criminal and civil cases are typically heard by a panel of three justices in Seattle, Tacoma or Spokane.

Caseload Statistics

The Supreme Court of Washington received filings for 1,578 cases in 2013 and of those 1,509 met with a disposition. The year prior was similar with 1,479 filings and 1,439 dispositions.

Washington Court Structure

Washington Court Statistics

Washington Courts receive 1,309,836 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 2,377,252 filings and gave 2,289,653 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 539,800 filings and had 577,687 outgoing cases.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Washington at year end of 2016 has decreased by 7.7% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 64,944 with a rate of 942 cases per 100000 population, lower than it’s in 2016.

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Washington

More Domestic Relations Cases than Washington:
State: Caseload:
New York570,709
Less Domestic Relations Cases than Washington:
State: Caseload:

Washington Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Washington counts 239,711 with 53,679 felony cases and 185,487 misdemeanors accordingly.

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 50,550 cases, it went from 290,690 to 240,140 with clearance rates of 103% and 106% accordingly.

Small Claims Caseloads & Rates

Caseload: Per 100K Population: Percent of Total Caseload: Max Limit in $:
13,496 185 6.0% $5,000

Washington Court Locations

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's DayMonday, January 1, 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr's BirthdayMonday, January 15, 2018
Presidents' DayMonday, February 19, 2018
Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Veteran's Day (Observed)Monday, November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22, 2018
Thanksgiving FridayFriday, November 23, 2018
Christmas DayTuesday, December 25, 2018

Washington court records search by Counties

DISCLAIMER: The Washington court records information accessible herein is derived from unofficial, publicly-available sources, does not constitute the official court records of any case, may not be up-to-date, complete, or accurate, and should not be relied upon by any person or entity for any purpose. This site is a third-party commercial entity that is neither authorized by nor affiliated with the Washington Judiciary or the Washington Administrative Office of State Courts in any way. The Washington Judiciary and the Washington Administrative Office of State Courts have not endorsed, warranted, or otherwise validated any of Washington court records information available on this site.