Judicial Administrative Records
Access to Judicial Administrative Records General Rule
Consistent with the principles of open administration of justice, as provided in article I, section 10 of the Washington State Constitution, it is the policy of the judiciary to facilitate access to its administrative records. A presumption of access applies to the judiciary’s administrative records. Access, however, is not absolute and shall be consistent with exemptions for personal privacy, restrictions in statutes, restrictions in court rules, and as required for the integrity of judicial decision-making.
A judicial administrative record is any writing or other recorded information related to the management of a court or judicial branch agency, its transaction of public business, or the performance of its administrative governmental functions. Judicial administrative records are not subject to the provisions of the State Public Records Act (Chapter 42.56, RCW). In June 2015 the Supreme Court of the State of Washington adopted General Rule 31.1 - Access to Administrative Records (GR 31.1) (PDF) which took effect January 1, 2019.
Visit the District Court page for procedure of obtaining administrative records of the San Juan County District Court.
The court records of the San Juan County Superior Court, such as case files, dockets and calendars, are not subject to GR 31.1. They can be requested by directly contacting the County Clerk or by filing a public records request with the San Juan County Public Records Officer.
Submitting a Request
All requests for judicial administrative records must be in writing, using the Request for Administrative Records Form (PDF) and return it to the Public Records Officer (PRO) by:
San Juan County Superior Court
350 Court Street No. 7
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
- Fax: 360-370-7485
As part of your records requests, the Superior Court PRO is unable to:
- Answer general requests for information
- Answer questions involving general research or compiling of information
- Create a record if a record does not currently exist
- Perform legal research
If your request will require payment of costs you will be notified. Payment may be required before your request will be completed. Costs will be charged as follows:
|Copies and Scanning
||$0.15 per page
|Fax (8.5 x 11 only)
||$1 per page
||$30/hour after first hour
|Viewing Records at Courthouse
The Superior Court PRO is required to send you a response within 5 business days of submitting your request. The response will acknowledge your request with one or more of the following:
- Anticipated date of arrival
- Expected costs required to proceed
- Explanation for non-disclosable records
- Further clarification required
- Requested records provided
Denial of Request
If your administrative records request is denied, you may make a Request for Internal Review (PDF) of the denial from the Superior Court Judge. Your internal review request must be within 90 days from the denial by the Superior Court PRO.
If the internal review process upholds the denial, you can make a Request for External Review (PDF). Request for an external review must be submitted within 30 days of the internal review decision. You may choose between two external review alternatives:
- File a civil action in superior court challenging the administrative records decision; or
- Request external review of the decision by a visiting judge.