How Can I Obtain a Copy of a Document, such as a Will, Filed in a Probate or Guardianship Proceeding in Washington?

  1. In Person
  2. By Mail
  3. By Attorney Service

A.  In Person

For King County:

  • Go to the Clerk’s Office at the King County Courthouse on the 6th floor (or at the Regional Justice Center).
  • If you have only the name of the Decedent, then enter that name on a SCOMIS Computer and obtain his/her probate case number.
  • Once you have the case number, go to the bank of computers to the left and across from the SCOMIS computers, which bank is underneath a sign reading “Electronic Court Records” — these are the ECR Computers.
  • Enter the case number on an ECR computer, and it will list all of the documents filed in the case, any of which (so long as the document has not been sealed by the Court) you may download and read.
  • You may order a plain or certified copy of any such document through the ECR computer and pick up the copy at the Clerk’s Copy Center, to the right of the SCOMIS Computers.
  • The copy charge depends of the type of copy you desire:
    • Plain copies are 25 cents per page.
    • Certified copies are $5 for the first page of any document and $1 for each additional page of the same document (ie, the $5 first page charge is assessed document by document, not on one’s overall order).

Caution: The scanning process takes anywhere from two to five Court days, so during that period, filed documents are not available, either on the ECR Computers or by the actual paper documents as filed.  In other words, you will not be able to find a document in the Court files for at least several days after its filing.  If a document, instead, was presented in and left with the Court for filing, that will only increase the time it takes for it to appear on the ECR Computers.

The ECR Computers cover all King County Superior Court scanned filings (ie, all documents for all cases filed after 1999 and for archived cases filed after 1995, whether with a SEA or a KNT designation) and, like the SCOMIS Computers, are available at both the King County Courthouse and the Regional Justice Center.

If you can’t find your case number on the ECR Computers, then your case number may be available on the computers to the left of the ECR computers — the ones under the sign reading “Request Files from 1979 – 1999” — which contain the case information for unscanned case files.  A copy of any unscanned document (ie, one not on the ECR Computers) may be made by requesting the hardcopy, paper file from the Clerk’s file room and then making a copy of the document yourself on any of the copy machines in the Clerk’s Office for 15 cents per page.

For another county: Go to the Clerk’s Office at its County Courthouse and ask.

B.  By Mail

For King County, write the King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office at the following addresses:

  • For SEA-designated cases:
  • King County Superior Court Clerk
    ATTN:  Correspondence Clerk
    516 3rd Ave, E-609
    Seattle, WA  98104
  • For KNT-designated cases:
    King County Superior Court Clerk
    ATTN:  Correspondence Clerk
    401 4th Ave N, Room 2C
    Kent, WA  98032

In your request:

  1. Provide your:
    1. Name,
    2. Address, and
    3. Daytime telephone number.
  2. Specify:
    1. The name of the case,
    2. Its case number, and
    3. The name of each document that you want copied.
  3. Enclose:
    1. A self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage attached.
    2. A check for $25 made to the order of King County Superior Court Clerk:
      1. If you are a Washington resident, a personal check is acceptable so long as the check is drawn on a bank located within Washington and your name is imprinted on the check.
      2. If you are not a Washington resident, a Cashier’s Check or Money Order is required.

The Clerk’s fee is:

  • A non-refundable service charge of $20, plus
  • A copying and certification fee of:
    • $5 for the first page of any document, and
    • $1 for each additional page of the same document (with a $5 deposit, paid along with the $20 service charge = $25 total).

You will receive a certified copy, as the Clerk’s Office will not provide plain copies by mail.  If your request entails more than one copy, you will be billed for the additional charge.

For further information, see Copies by KCSCC.

The Clerk’s Office “turn-around time” (ie, time between its receipt of your request and its mailing of your copies) for requests for document copies is two to three weeks.  Consequently, with delivery time included, you should not expect to receive the copies until a month or so after you mail your request.

For another county: Telephone its Superior Court Clerk’s Office and ask.  Telephone Numbers

C.  By Attorney Service

For King County, if you want or need the copies sooner, you may obtain them, generally within a day, from a variety of private attorney services, such as:

  1. NW Legal Support, Inc.
    526 Yale Ave N, Suite A
    Seattle, WA 98109
    206 223-9426
    Fax 206 223-9475

    NW Legal states:

    1. They estimate their fee at $20 plus 50 cents per page plus any Court Clerk’s copying or certification fee.
    2. Their turn-around time is one business day.
    3. They could supply copies by fax at minimal charge.
    4. They could obtain copies from any of the other 38 counties in Washington at increased cost and turn-around time.
  2. Attorney’s Information Bureau
    Room C-603
    King County Courthouse
    206 622-1909
    Toll Free 877 885-0815
    Fax 206 264-8903
    AIB states:

    1. Their fee is $60 plus either:
      1. For plain copies: 50 cents per page, or
      2. For certified copies: $1 per page plus
      3. Any Court Clerk’s copying or certification fee.
    2. Their turn-around time is one business day.
    3. They will supply copies by fax for an additional fee of $5 for up to the first 5 pages plus $1 for each additional page.
    4. They can provide the same services for Pierce County at the same rates as for King County.
    5. They can obtain copies from any of the other 37 counties in Washington:
      1. For an additional $40 charge, and
      2. With a substantially greater turn-around time.

Disclosure:  Neithe WASHINGTON PROBATE nor its author has any affiliation with any of the companies described above or has received or will in the future receive any consideration for mentioning any of them in this website, which mention is intended solely to provide additional information and not as an endorsement or guarantee.

Thanks:  Your author thanks the many personnel of the King County Clerk’s Office who have answered, with patience and grace, his innumerable questions over the years and have helped in the preparation of this page, especially Kathei McCoy, Information Services Supervisor — with his continuing to take complete and total responsibility for any errors or omissions that remain.