LCR 79. Books and Records Kept by the Clerk
Local Civil Rule
(d) Other Books and Records of Clerk.
(1) Exhibits; Filing and Substitution. All exhibits and other documents received in evidence on the trial of any cause must be filed at that time, but the court may, either then or by leave granted thereafter, upon notice, permit a copy of any such exhibit or other document to be filed or substituted in the files, in lieu of the original.
(A) Exhibit Files. The exhibits in all cases shall be kept by the clerk separate from the files of the case.
(B) Exhibits--Inspection. No exhibits shall be inspected in the clerk's office except in the presence of the clerk or one of his/her deputies.
(C) Original Court Record--Copies. No original court record shall be admitted as an exhibit, but a copy thereof may be so admitted.
(D) Cardboard Exhibits. Pictures and diagrams shall not be permanently affixed to large cardboards used for display. The clerk is permitted to remove pictures and diagrams from the cardboard for storage purposes.
(2) Inappropriate Materials for Filing.
(A) Unsuitable Materials. Whenever there is presented to the clerk for filing in a cause any document or other material that is deemed by the clerk to be improper or inappropriate for filing (e,g, explicit photos), the clerk may apply to the court for a determination of the propriety of filing the material presented. If the court determines that the document or material should not be made a part of the file, an order shall be entered to that effect and the material shall be converted to a file exhibit. File exhibits are not retained as part of the permanent record and are eligible for destruction per RCW 36.23.070. The court may order that the unsuitable material be sealed, in which event it shall be available for inspection only by order of the court except as specified in the order to seal.
(B) Unscannable Material. Whenever there is presented ot the clerk for filing in a cause any item such as tapes, CD's, DVD's, USB drives and oversized items such as blueprints or plat maps that cannot be scanned, it shall be converted to a file exhibit. File exhibits are not retained as part of the permanent record and are eligible for destruction per RCW 36.23.070.
(3) --Same; Not Evidence Unless Ordered. Exhibits filed pursuant to subsection (2) hereof shall not be evidence in the cause unless by order of the trial judge entered on notice and hearing.
(4) Withdrawal of Files and Exhibits.
(A) Files. The clerk shall permit no original paper documents to be taken from his/her office or from his/her custody, by anyone other than court personnel, unless written authority has first been obtained. All of the clerk’s files which are in the hands of an attorney for the purposes of any trial or hearing must be returned by the attorney to the clerk at the close thereof. The clerk, or a designated deputy, may in his/her discretion and on application in writing, grant written authority to the applicant to withdraw one or more original paper files from the clerk's custody for a period not exceeding ten days. The court may, upon written application showing cause therefore, authorize the withdrawal of specified clerk's files for a period in excess of ten days. For case files maintained electronically, no person may remove the electronic media on which the record is kept from the custody of the Clerk, but copies of a file or of the documents therein may be obtained from the Clerk as provided by law and rule.
(B) --Same; Statement of Facts. Statements of facts in cases where the original record remains in paper form, after having been settled and signed, shall not be withdrawn from the Clerk's office.
(C) Exhibits; Temporary Withdrawal. Exhibits may be withdrawn temporarily from the custody of the Clerk only by:
(i) The Judge having the cause under consideration;
(ii) Official court reporters, without court order, for use in connection with their duties;
(iii) Attorneys of record, upon court order, after notice to or with the consent of opposing counsel. The Clerk shall take an itemized receipt for all exhibits withdrawn, and upon return of the exhibit or exhibits they shall be checked by the Clerk against the original receipts. The Clerk shall keep all receipts for such exhibits for the period of three years from date.
(D) Failure to Return Files or Exhibits; Sanctions. In the event that an attorney or other person fails to return files or exhibits which were temporarily withdrawn by him/her within the time required, and fails to comply with the Clerk's request for their return, the Clerk may, without notice to the attorney or other person concerned, apply to the Presiding Judge for an order for the immediate return of such files or exhibits. A certified copy of such order, if entered, shall then be served upon the attorney or other person involved.
(E) Exhibits; Permanent Withdrawal. After final judgment, the time for appeal having elapsed, and no appeal having been taken, the Court, on application of any party or other person entitled to the possession of one or more exhibits, and for good cause shown, may in its discretion order the withdrawal of such exhibit or exhibits and delivery thereof to such party or other person.
(i) --Exhibits; Narcotics. See LGR 20.
(F) Return of Exhibits and Unopened Depositions. In any civil cause on a stipulation of the parties that when judgment in the cause shall become final, or shall become final after an appeal, or upon judgment of dismissal or upon filing a satisfaction of judgment, the Clerk may return all exhibits and unopened depositions, or may destroy them. The Court may enter an order accordingly.
(5) Document or File Sealed by Court Order. The Clerk shall not permit the examination of any sealed document or file except by order of the Court entered pursuant to LGR 15(e).
(6) Documents Sealed By Court Order. Once the court order has been signed, the filing party shall place the words “Sealed document per (date) court order” in the caption of any document to be sealed. The filing party must then place the sealed document in a manila envelope marked “Sealed document” on the outside before delivering it to the clerk for filing.
(7) Documents Redacted by Court Order. Once the court order has been signed allowing redaction, parties shall file redacted copies of the entire document with the words “Redacted copy pursuant to (date) Order” in the caption.
[Amended effective September 1, 2001; September 1, 2003; September 1, 2004; September 1, 2007; September 1, 2008; September 2, 2014; September 1, 2017; September 1, 2018, September 1, 2021.]