Rules and etiquette
King County Superior Court and the King County Clerk support open access to court proceedings and records whenever possible. This access is provided under General Rule 15 and General Rule 16.
- General rule 15 addresses the destruction, sealing, and redaction of court records.
- General rule 16 addresses courtroom recording and recording by the media.
- Updated information about Sealed Documents (March 2018)
General court etiquette
Work with the court bailiff at least 24 hours in advance to request courtroom access. Here is the list of judges and bailiffs.
This is the main arraignment courtroom. It is small, a 50-seat capacity. Standing is not permitted. Generally media use a pool camera to record high-profile arraignments.
Bench Bar Press Committee and the Fire Brigade
The Bench-Bar-Press committee of Washington (BBP) was formed in 1963 to foster better understanding and working relationships between judges, lawyers and journalists who cover legal issues and courtroom stories. The mission of the Committee is to seek to accommodate, as much as possible, the tensions between the constitutional values of "free press" and "fair trial" through educational events and relationship building.
Despite the best planning, urgent issues occur. This committee has established the Fire Brigade, an on-call judicial representative to manage urgent issues 24/7/365. The current Fire Brigade lead is King County Superior Court Judge Barbara Linde. It is important to recognize that each judge, ultimately, is independent and will make his/her own decision about how to run the courtroom.