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 Anyone filing documents with a court should not include sensitive information in any document filed with the court, unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case or is otherwise ordered by the court. Any personal information not otherwise protected by statute or court rule will be made available at the courthouse and may also be available in a local court’s website.

Access to Family Law Case documents is governed by the general court rule GR22 – Access to Family Law Cases. Types of cases covered under GR 22 are:

Dissolutions/Legal Separations Chapter 26.09 RCW
Nonparental Actions for Child Custody Chapter 26.10 RCW
Family Court  Chapter 26.12 RCW
Child Support Enforcement Chapter 26.18 RCW
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act Chapter 26.21 RCW
State Support Registry Chapter 26.23 RCW
Uniform Parentage Act Chapter 26.26 RCW
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act Chapter 26.27 RCW
Domestic Violence Prevention Chapter 26.50 RCW
Foreign Protection Order Full Faith And Credit Act Chapter 26.52 RCW

In Family Law Cases, income tax returns, W-2s and schedules, wage stubs, credit card statements, financial institution statements, check registers, and other financial information sealed by court order should be filed under the Sealed Financial Source Documents Cover Sheet. Anyone filing a document should remove or omit (leave out) social security numbers, financial account numbers, and driver’s license numbers on all other documents, except the Confidential Information Form and Addendums, Notice of Intent to Relocate, Vital Statistics Form, Law Enforcement Information Form, Foreign Protection Order Information Form, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

By statute, the following types of case records are not open to the public:

Adoptions RCW 26.33.330
Chemical Dependency Commitment RCW 70.96A.150
Confidential Name Changes RCW 4.24.130(5)
Grand Jury and Special Inquiry Judge RCW 10.27.160
Juvenile Non-Offense RCW 13.50.100
Juvenile Offender Records (other than official court file) RCW 13.50.050
Mental Illness Commitment RCW 71.05.620
Mental Illness Commitment of Minors RCW 71.34.210
Paternity RCW 26.26.610(2)

For all other types of cases, unless otherwise necessary or otherwise ordered by the court, persons filing documents with the court should not include, and if present shall remove or omit (leave out), the following personal identifiers from all documents:

Social Security Number. If the Social Security Number of an individual must be included in a document, only the last four digits of that number shall be used.

  • Names of Minor Children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, only that child’s initials shall be used, unless otherwise necessary. The full names of minor children on documents are necessary when they are a party to the action, subject of the action, and changing a name.
  • Financial Account Numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits shall be included in the document.
  • Driver’s License Numbers. Driver’s license numbers are necessary on Notice of Infractions and Uniform Citations.

Attorneys are strongly urged to share this notice with all clients so that an informed decision about the inclusion of certain materials may be made.

 It is the sole responsibility of the filer to be sure that all documents filed comply with the rules of the court requiring removal or omission of personal identifiers. The clerk will not review each document for compliance with these