The County Clerk is one of several independent, elected officials provided by the Washington State Constitution (Article IV, Sec 26), with specific and special duties assigned by statute, as well as local and state court rules. The position of County Clerk is best characterized as the administrative and financial officer of the Superior Court. The County Clerk’s purpose is to ensure the separation of powers among the three branches of government by preserving the integrity of the judiciary. Those three branches are Executive, Judicial, and Legislative. This purpose is accomplished in three ways:
By being independent of the judicial branch, the Clerk protects the judiciary from the appearance of impropriety or unfairness in the setting of cases, implementation of orders, or investment of funds.
The Clerk is located in the Executive Branch of government and provides the avenue for external oversight of the judiciary without legislative or executive branch interference with its actions, integrity or independence.
As an independent elected official, the Clerk preserves for the public unrestrained access to a fair, accurate, and independently established record of the opinions, decisions, and judgments of the court.