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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What are the hours of the Clerk's Office?
  2. Is there a fee to file a response to an existing case in Clark County?
  3. How do I obtain the forms for filing a Divorce or Modification child support or custody?
  4. How do I file for divorce in Clark County?
  5. Where do I find information regarding eviction?
  6. Does the Clark County Clerk accept fax filings?
  7. How do I reschedule my court date?
  8. How do I obtain a restraining order?
  9. How do I find a lawyer?
  10. I am doing family history research and need to know what types of cases are public record?
  11. What is Probate?
  12. How do I register a Domestic Partnership?
  13. Where do I find forms for Guardianship reporting?
  14. How do I vacate a criminal conviction?
  15. What are the court approved legal newspapers in Clark County?
  16. Who are adoptees or birth parents supposed to contact regarding adoption records searches?
  17. How do I obtain foreign depositions?
  18. What do I do with my original will for safekeeping?
  19. Who can I contact to get my name changed?


1. What are the hours of the Clerk's Office?

The Clerk's Office is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Clerk's Office is closed on legal holidays.

2. Is there a fee to file a response to an existing case in Clark County?

No. There is no fee to file a response to an existing case.

3. How do I obtain the forms for filing a Divorce or Modification child support or custody?

The Clerk's Office sells packets of forms for divorce, which is a dissolution of marriage, and modification of child support or custody. The modification packets cost $30.00 each. Dissolution of marriage w/o children is $30.00, and for dissolution of marriage with children is $50.00. These forms are also available for download from the Administrator for the Courts

There are several self-help instructions for various types of domestic relations type cases available from the Administrator for the Court. The instructions are located on the Forms List page of the Administrator for the Court's web site.

4. How do I file for divorce in Clark County?

If you are doing a do-it-yourself divorce and are not represented by an attorney, you are responsible for the accuracy of all pleadings you file with the court. You can obtain a packet of forms used for filing a dissolution at the clerk's office for a fee, or you may download forms and instructions from the Administrator for the Courts. A checklist for dissolution with or without children is available for download from the Family Court Facilitator web page. Once your forms are filled out and you are ready to file, be prepared to pay a $290.00 filing fee, or if indigent bring a fee waiver form. There is an informative consumer information pamphlet available online from the Washington State Bar Association that provides some general information for dissolution of marriage.

If you need assistance you can contact the Family Law Court Facilitator. The Facilitator can help identify which mandatory family law forms are needed, review the forms for completeness, help schedule court hearings, explain court procedures, make referrals to other agencies for additional information or assistance. The Court Facilitators cannot give legal advice or provide legal representation.

5. Where do I find information regarding eviction?

The Washington State Bar Association provides an information pamphlet regarding Landlord/Tenant disputes on there Web site.

6. Does the Clark County Clerk accept fax filings?

No. The Clark County Clerk's Office does not accept faxed filings at this time.

7. How do I reschedule my court date?

The Clerk has no authority to reschedule a court date. Example: If you appeared in court on a criminal matter and were ordered to return to court on a future date for arraignment then you must be in court on the date ordered. If you fail to appear in court as ordered on a pending criminal case then the court will authorize a bench warrant for your arrest to issue. If you have bail posted you could also be subject to forfeiture of that bail.

On civil or domestic cases only the attorney or party citing the motion before the court may cancel or reschedule the motion. If you need to request that a motion be set over to another date on a civil matter then you need to contact the attorney who cited the matter before the court and ask that attorney if the motion can be cited to another date. If the attorney agrees then he will file a new citation for the new court date. If the attorney does not agree to set the motion to another date then you must appear in court on the date cited if you wish to be heard.

8. How do I obtain a restraining order?

This is a question that is often times asked but can be confusing, because a restraining order is only one kind of court order. There are also domestic violence protection orders, no-contact orders, and civil anti harassment protection orders. See the following document for an explanation of the various types of orders. Comparison of Court Orders adobe image In Clark County domestic violence protection orders are processed by the Court Facilitator office on the 1st floor of the courthouse.  Anti harassment protection orders are processed by Clark County District Court on the Ground floor of the courthouse.  The first step to obtain a protection order is to contact the clerk in the Court Facilitator's Office as they have the forms available to the public that need to be filled out to begin the process.  The clerk can also review your situation to determine if an anti harassment protection order would be more appropriate and you will be referred to District Court in that instance.

If you have questions about the general process involved in obtaining a protection order there is a guide to the process at the web site of the Administrator of the Courts, "Domestic Violence Protection Order Process."  There is also a video at the following web page you may watch http://www.clark.wa.gov/courts/dvvidio.html   You may also call Clark County Clerk at (360) 397-2292 for further information on domestic violence and anti harassment protection orders.

9. How do I find a lawyer?

There are many lawyer referral services. You can get a list of these services from the Southwest Washington Lawyer Referral Service (360) 695-0599.

10. I am doing family history research and need to know what types of cases are public record?

The following case types are public record: Case type 1 - Criminal felony cases, Case type 2 - Civil cases, Case type 3 - Domestic Relations cases such as divorce and child custody, Case Type 4 - Probate & Guardianship, Case Type 8 - Juvenile Offender. These types of cases may be viewed at the clerk's office under the supervision of the Clerk's Office, and you may purchase copies from the file for the usual fee which is .50 per page for uncertified. For certified copies the charge is $5.00 for the 1st page and $1.00 for each page thereafter per document.

11. What is Probate?

Probate is the process of transferring property when a person dies.

12. How do I register a Domestic Partnership?

Domestic Partnerships are registered with the Secretary of State's Office in Olympia effective July 22, 2007. For more information go to the following Web site for forms and instructions: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps/domesticpartnerships/

13. Where do I find forms for Guardianship reporting?

Many guardianship forms are published on the court's Web site and available for download. Some forms are also available on our web site under Guardianship, Probate, Trusts and Wills.

14. How do I vacate a criminal conviction?

The forms needed for a Motion to Vacate a Felony Conviction pursuant to RCW 9.94A.640 and for Motion to Seal Court File pursuant to Court Rule GR15 are available online at the Administrative Office of the Court's Web site: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms.

To vacate a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor conviction, forms & instructions are located on the Administrative Office of the Courtís Web site:   http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/ .

More information about vacating and expunging of convictions can be found at the following Web site: http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/content/GuideToCrimHistoryRecords.pdf

15. What are the court approved legal newspapers in Clark County?
Per RCW 65.16.040, newspapers need to be approved as legal newspapers by the Superior Court in the county in which the newspapers are published. This is necessary when certain notices, summons, or other official documents are required to be published by law. The following newspapers are court approved:

  • The Columbian, 415 West 6th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660-3110, phone: (360) 694-3391
  • The Reflector, 20 NW 20th Avenue,Battleground, WA 98604-4226, phone: (360) 687-5151
  • The Post Record, 425 NE 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607-2129, phone: (360) 834-2141
  • The Vancouver Business Journal, 1251 Officers Row, Vancouver, WA 98661, phone: (360)695-2442

16. Who are adoptees or birth parents supposed to contact regarding adoption records searches? See the adoptions link on the left menu for more information.

Karen M. King
(888) 264-2044
(425) 226-6912
Newcastle, WA
Email: kmking2569@aol.com

Karalee Rae
Tacoma, WA
(253)927-9107
Email: krp1228@comcast.net

Carole VandenBos
Seattle, WA
(206) 244-5134
Email: carolevandenbos@aol.com

Washington Adoption Reunion Movement (WARM) Confidential Intermediaries
Seattle, WA
(206) 767-9510
Email: warm@warmsearch.org

Darlene Wilson
(360) 256-8795
PO Box 821670
Vancouver, WA 98682
Email: wasearcher@msn.com

Judi Euritt
2317 NE Adler Ct
Poulsbo, WA
(360) 697-2393
Email: adoptionsearchwa@msn.com

Jo Harrah
7575 S.W. Alta Vista Dr.
Port Orchard, WA 98367
(360) 879-4505

17.  How do I obtain foreign subpoenas or depositions?

New Deposition Information: Existing Clark County Case

These pleadings are use in an existing Clark County Case when out-of-state depositions are needed. A new action will be filed in another state. CR 45(d)(3) The following pleadings are normally filed or presented ex parte to request a deposition out-of-state, using the Clark County case number:

  • Petition (or Motion and Declaration) for Commission to Take Out-of-State Deposition (original + one copy to conform)
  • Notice of Taking Deposition outside the state (original + one copy).
  • Notice of Issue (unless submitted to Clerk's Office for ex parte presentation).
  • Clark County fees: ex parte fee ($30.00 if submitted to Clerk for ex parte presentation) and fee for a certified copy of the Commission and Order
  • Order Granting Commission to Take Deposition Out of State (original + one copy).
    • Note: If the Clerk is directed to issue the Commission, include the statement "CLERK'S ACTION REQUIRED
  • Commission to Take Deposition Outside the State of Washington (original + one copy).
  • Pre addressed, stamped envelope and extra copies to return as conformed copies (if submitted to Clerk for ex parte presentation)

New Deposition Information: UNIFORM INTERSTATE DEPOSITIONS AND DISCOVERY ACT RCW 5.51; Process for Out of State Subpoenas

The Act sets forth an efficient and inexpensive procedure for litigants to depose out of state individuals and for the production of discoverable materials that may be located out of state. Under the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, litigants can present a clerk of the court located in the state where discoverable materials are sought with a subpoena issued by a court in the trial state.  Once the clerk receives the foreign subpoena, the clerk will issue a subpoena for service upon the person or entity on which the original subpoena is directed. 

Customer requirement:

    • Opening document: Subpoena(s) issued by out of state court
    • Case Information Cover Sheet (CICS)
    • Subpoena(s) for clerk to issue
    • Filing fee $240.00
    • Issuance fee $20.00
    • Proposed Deposition Subpoena directed to the individual with a signature block to be signed by the Clerk (original + two copies).
    • Pre-addressed, stamped envelope and extra copies to return as conformed copies (if request is made by mail).

Note: We will not be verifying or policing the “authenticity” of the foreign subpoena.

18.  What do I do with my original will for safekeeping?
The Clerk’s Office offers a will repository service. RCW 11.12.265 allows the filing of an original will with the court, under seal, before the death of the testator. The fee for this service is $20.00 per will or codicil as set by RCW 36.18.016(28).   The will may be withdrawn by the testator upon showing of proper identification. Any other person, such as an attorney or Guardian, may withdraw the original will only with a court order after showing of good cause. Upon request and presentation of a certified copy of the testator’s death certificate, the Clerk’s Office will unseal the file. If a probate file is opened at that time, the full filing fee must be charged per RCW 36.18.020(2)(f).

19. Who can I contact to get my name changed?

The Superior Court does not accept petitions for name changes, unless it is part of a domestic case or is a confidential name change in a Domestic Violence situation. For more information on petitioning the court to get your name changed in Clark County, please contact the Clark County District Court. If you are requesting a confidential name change please contact the Superior Court Clerk's Office.


Clark County Clerk's Office
Street Address: 1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Main phone: (360) 397-2292 | Criminal: (360) 397-2295 | FAX: (360) 397-6099
Juvenile (360) 397-2073 | Collections Unit: (360) 397-6085
TTY: (360) 397-6172
E-mail: countyclerk@clark.wa.gov

Responsible Elected Official: Scott G. Weber , County Clerk

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