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RCW 26.12.175 is the Washington State law that governs appointment of guardians ad litem in domestic relations proceedings.  RCW 26.12.175(1)(a) provides that, “The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of a minor or dependent child when the court believes the appointment of a guardian ad litem is necessary to protect the best interests of the child in any proceedings under this chapter.”  The role of the guardian ad litem is to investigate and report factual information to the court concerning parenting arrangements of the child and to represent the child’s best interests. 

The Cowlitz County Superior Court has established a guardian ad litem registry to provide family studies and reports to the Supeiror Court for review.  All guardians ad litem appointed under this title must comply with the training requirements set out by Washington law.  Cowlitz County Superior Court complies with all applicable laws for developing and maintaining a registry of qualified guardians ad litem including an annual review of qualifications.

If you are interested in being considered for the Title 26 Registry, you are encouraged to review the following materials. 


We are NOT currently seeking new applicants as of April, 2014


We will post an announcement on this site as well as our Facebook Page when we are again seeking applications.

Materials to review that will assist you in the application process are as follows:

If you are planning to apply to the registry, you must submit the following:

  • A completed application (link above),
  • A current Washington State Patrol criminal history check (w/in last two weeks-fee for this is at applicant’s own expense), and
  • A copy of your Title 26 GAL Training Certificate.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a guardian ad litem.

 ***If you haven’t attended the State required Title 26 GAL training, you will need to attend such a training as approved by the Office of the Administrator of the Courts (Click link for more information).




The State of Washington Administrator for the Courts has created numerous forms for use in Washington Courts. Some of the forms are Mandatory (Family Law and Juvenile Dependency) and many are not. For a full listing of the forms available, click on the link below.


Administrator of the Courts Forms Page link

 Cowlitz County Superior Court Local Forms Below

This purpose of this page is not to provide legal advice about filing an appeal or revision, but rather to point to the resources which you may find of use if you decide to file either an appeal or a motion for revision. If you have questions about how to file an appeal, or whether you should file an appeal, you should contact an attorney familiar with that area of the law.



Appeals in Superior Court are generally governed by the statewide Rules of Appeal.

Appeals from a Superior Court Judge's decision must be filed within 30 days of entry of the final judgment.

The process for requesting a copy of the recorded record of a hearing may be found at Requesting a Copy of your Hearing.


Appeals from a Commissioner's decision which is reviewable by a Superior  Court Judge is called a Revision. Revision rules can be found at RCW 2.24.050.

Revisions from a Supeior Court Commissioner's decision must be filed within 10 days of entry of the final judgment. An ruling on a motion for revision may also be appealed using the regular appellate rules.

Appeals from lower courts to the Superior Court

The Superior Court serves as the appeals court for the county courts of Limited Jurisdiction (District Court and the various Municipal Courts.) You can find information on the process for those cases from the District Court Appellate Rules section of the AOC website which can be found at the link below:





People often wonder why they get picked for a jury and what can they do to get excused.

Jury service is defined by the legislature in RCW Chapter 2.36. The Superior Court Clerk is in charge of managing the picking and summonsing potential jurors into court. Unfortunately, in order to have a seated jury of 12 in Superior Court, we need to have around 30+ folks to show up for the day.

If you believe you have a reason not to serve, or to serve for less than the normal two weeks, or simply need to have your term deferred, you should fill out the juror form, fill in the section on the back with your request and return it to the Superior Court clerk. One of the Superior Court Judicial Officers will review your request.

Pursuant to RCW 2.36.070, the following categories of individuals are not considered able to serve:

  • You are less than eighteen years of age;
  • You are NOT a citizen of the United States;
  • You are NOT a resident of the county in which you have been summoned to serve;
  • You are NOT able to communicate in the English language; or
  • You HAVE been convicted of a felony and have not had your civil rights restored.

Please note that if you are excused or deferred to a new date you will get a new notice. You also could be called numerous times in a fairly short time as the jury selection system is random, and does not pull you out of the selection pool if you have recently served.

There is some good information about jury service available in the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Jury Brochure which is free to download. It will give you a good idea of what you are getting into.

Shortly we will be posting a video put out by AOC which will be viewable on this site, so check back soon!

Copies of the recorded proceeding are available for purchase by completing the order form and including the correct fee.  Portions of the proceeding can be transcribed to prepare findings or to prepare a motion, and the attorney or party shall select the transcriptionist.  A court-approved transcriber is required to prepare a verbatim report of proceedings on appeal but is not required in the preparation of any part of the record for a purpose other than an appeal.


Please follow these steps to order copies of Superior Court digital recordings: 

Complete the Cowlitz County Superior Court Public CD Order Form and return it to Superior Court Administration.  Please note that incomplete forms will not be accepted. Incorrect information will significantly delay the completion of the order.

Please contact the Cowlitz County Clerk’s office at 360.577.3016 for assistance. The Clerk's office is on the second floor of the Hall of Justice just outside of courtroom 2.

Only one day per courtroom can be burned onto a disc.  Therefore, multiple days and / or multiple courtrooms will be charged per day, per courtroom.  (For example: a request for a docket in courtroom #2 and a hearing in courtroom #1 on the same day will cost $50 because they have to be burned onto 2 discs; a three-day trial is $75 – 3 discs; or two copies of the same hearing would cost $50 – 2 discs.)  

Enclose cash or money order for the correct amount with the completed digital recording order form.  Please make money orders payable to Cowlitz County Clerk. 

Personal checks are not accepted.

Orders can generally be completed in one to two business days, unless prior arrangements have been made with Court Administration. 

A digital recording is a “data format” that is viewed through a computer program.  We will include the FTR (ForTheRecord) media player program, so you can install / download it onto your computer.  (Windows and other media players cannot read or play these digital data discs.  You must use the FTR program.)

Please do not hesitate to contact or Jill Alton at 360.577.3069 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Danyel Paul at 360.414.5543 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you have any questions concerning these instructions or using the FTR program. 



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