SPOKANE COUNTY, July 16, 2021 –– On Tuesday, July 20, the Spokane County Clerk’s office is beginning the first, of what will be several, final phases in the incorporation of an electronic filing system for all case types.
In June of 2020, the Spokane County Clerk’s Office started the process of establishing an electronic filing system for court documents in Spokane County. Phase 1 was completed in December culminating in e-filing for case type 7 (Dependency) in the Juvenile court. The remaining case types to be converted include: Criminal, Civil, Domestic, Guardianship/Probate, Adoption/Paternity, Civil Commitment, and Juvenile.
This Tuesday, July 20, the Clerk’s Office will launch electronic document filing for guardianship/probate and civil commitment cases. In approximately three weeks, the office will activate domestic (family law) and adoption/paternity case e-filings. The Clerk’s Office will finish the electronic filing project in late August with the criminal, civil and juvenile case e-filing.
Commenting on the value of this new system, Tim Fitzgerald, Spokane County Clerk, stated, “Access to justice is a fundamental right. We owe it to the public to provide multiple options to address the court and file legal documents. Electronic filing will make Spokane’s legal system much more efficient, save the public time, and over the long term significantly reduce our administrative overhead costs.”
Electronic filing will also provide remote access to the courts, saving the courts time, money, and streamlining the court document filing process. Currently the Clerk’s office receives 9000 sheets of paper daily. Electronic filing will move Spokane County to a near paperless system. Access to the court in person and with paper will still be available.
Julie Griffith, Executive Director - Spokane County Bar Association & Volunteer Lawyers Program stated, “E-filing reduces barriers to accessing justice for attorneys and for community members who are navigating the courts on their own. E-filing, through the Spokane County Clerk’s Office, allows community members to directly file on-line without having to physically file at the Clerk’s Office. This is a great step in improving access to justice.”
Information on how to file will be located on the Spokane County Clerk’s webpage: www.spokanecounty.org/clerk