Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2001 NO. 6 > Sep 10 2001

1.   A superior court has authority to adopt a rule requiring the county clerk to file papers within specified periods of time.   2.   If a county clerk fails to file papers in court files within the time set forth in superior court rules, the court has several options for sanctions, including a specific order to perform the work or, in appropriate circumstances, an order holding the clerk in contempt; however, the court does not have authority to remove the clerk.

AGO 1998 NO. 13 > Nov 23 1998

Where a statute or court rule directs that courts will share information with one another for the better administration of justice, or other suitable purposes, county clerks are obligated to provide appropriate case file information to the Judicial Information System (JIS), including information otherwise classified as confidential; providing the information to the JIS is not a violation of the confidentiality statutes.

AGO 1977 NO. 20 > Oct 26 1977

The clerk of a superior court is not required by law to return a jury fee paid in a civil lawsuit either (1) when the demand for jury has been stricken by the court more than three days before the date of trial for the reason that the demand was untimely filed or (2) when, after the case has been set for trial, the court is notified of a settlement in the case prior to the trial date.

AGO 1968 NO. 21 > May 22 1968

(1) RCW 36.18.020 (1), as amended by § 9, chapter 26, Laws of 1967, does not apply retroactively; therefore, the additional $1.00 fee collectible in divorce, annulment or separate maintenance actions under the provisions of this 1967 amendment can be collected only in those cases that have been filed subsequent to January 1, 1968 (the effective date of the act). (2) The additional $1.00 fee provided by § 9, chapter 26, Laws of 1967, must be collected in the case of every divorce, annulment or separate maintenance filed subsequent to January 1, 1968. (3) Where a county clerk collects an additional $1.00 filing fee provided by § 9, chapter 26, Laws of 1967, and the divorce, annulment or separate maintenance action is not consummated by a court decree, the clerk is without authority to refund any portion of the filing fee.

AGLO 1973 NO. 82 > Jul 25 1973

Under the provisions of § 12, chapter 157, Laws of 1973, Ex. Sess., if the court orders that support or maintenance payments be made to the clerk of court as trustee for remittance to the person entitled to receive the payments, this will require that the support or maintenance payments be made into, and then subsequently disbursed out of, the county clerk's trust fund as provided for in RCW 36.48.090.

AGO 1953 NO. 506 > Mar 30 1953

The absence of a statute expressly permitting the filing of pleadings in forma pauperis in a civil proceeding precludes the clerk from filing such papers.