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, 2016.

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:
  • Email supctpro@sanjuanco.com
  • Mail:
    San Juan County Superior Court
    350 Court Street No. 7
    Friday Harbor, WA 98250
  • Fax: 360-370-7485
Be as specific as possible as to name, location, date, and type of record requested. Please use additional sheets as necessary.

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
Some administrative records cannot be provided. Before submitting your request, please review Records Exempted or Prohibited from Disclosure (PDF) to understand which records are specifically exempted under court rule, statute, or case law.


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:
Service Fee
Copies and Scanning
$0.15 per page
Fax (8.5 x 11 only)
$1 per page
Current rate
Envelopes $1 each
$30/hour after first hour
Viewing Records at Courthouse

Court Response

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
The Superior Court PRO may notify the agency or person to whom the record pertains that release of the record has been requested. That agency or person may ask a court to prevent an inspection of the record. If a court order preventing disclosure is sought, the records request will be held until the court determines the matter.

Denial of Request

Internal Review

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.

External Review

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.