Washington State “Clerk’s Papers”: What They Are

Recently, the King County Electronic Court Records (ECR) system began making available documents known as “Clerk’s Papers.” This relatively ambiguous title can be attached to a document or set of documents that can be individually comprised of several hundred, to several thousand pages. So what are they, exactly, and how do they fit into a case’s lifespan?

In the appellate court process, Clerk’s Papers are the portion of the Superior Court case file that is identified (designated) by a party seeking appellate review to be sent by the trial court to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court for purposes of an appeal or discretionary review. When the clerk’s office receives the designation, an index of requested items and a payment invoice will be sent to the parties on the case.

As a standalone collection of many of the case’s previous filings, Clerk’s Papers can sometimes be enormous in the way of page count.

More than one set of Clerk’s Papers may be present in a case. You would see them first if a Judgment has been appealed; additional omnibus documents may need to be created as further filings are made in the course of the Appeals process.

Clerk’s Papers are available for purchase through CourtTrax when available electronically from a court, or can be ordered for manual retrieval from those courts that do not provide electronic access to documents.

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