Notwithstanding any other law relating to the destruction of court records, the county clerk may cause to be destroyed all documents, records, instruments, books, papers, depositions, and transcripts, in any action or proceeding in the superior court, or otherwise filed in his or her office pursuant to law, if all of the following conditions exist:
(1) The county clerk maintains for the use of the public a photographic film, microphotographic, photostatic, electronic, or similar reproduction of each document, record, instrument, book, paper, deposition, or transcript so destroyed: PROVIDED, That all receipts and canceled checks filed by a personal representative pursuant to RCW 11.76.100 may be removed from the file by order of the court and destroyed the same as an exhibit pursuant to RCW 36.23.070.
(2) At the time of the taking of the photographic film, microphotographic, photostatic, electronic, or similar reproduction, the county clerk or other person under whose direction and control the same was taken, attached thereto, or to the sealed container in which the same was placed and has been kept, or incorporated in the photographic film, microphotographic, photostatic, electronic, or similar reproduction, a certification that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or of a specified part thereof, as the case may be, the date on which taken, and the fact it was taken under the clerk's direction and control. The certificate must be under the official seal of the certifying officer, if there be any, or if the certifying officer is the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of such court.
(3) The county clerk promptly seals and stores at least one original or negative of each such photographic film, microphotographic, photostatic, electronic, or similar reproduction in such manner and place as reasonably to assure its preservation indefinitely against loss, theft, defacement, or destruction. Electronic reproductions are acceptable media for this purpose if one of the following conditions exists:
(a) The electronic reproductions are continuously updated and, if necessary, transferred to another medium to ensure that they are accessible through contemporary and supported electronic or computerized systems; or
(b) The electronic reproductions are scheduled to be reproduced on photographic film, microphotographic, photostatic, or similar media for indefinite preservation.
(4) When copies of public records of the county clerk are transferred to the state archives for security storage, the state archives may only provide certified copies of those records with the written permission of the county clerk who is custodian of those records. When so transferred and authorized, the copies of the public records concerned shall be made by the state archives, which certification shall have the same force and effect as though made by the county clerk who is custodian of the record. If there is a statutory fee for the reproduction of the document, contracts can be made between the county clerk and the state archives for reproduction and certification of the copies, however no certification authority may be transferred except as provided in this subsection and for records of abolished or discontinued offices or agencies under chapter 40.14 RCW.
[1998 c 226 § 1; 1981 c 277 § 10; 1973 c 14 § 1; 1971 c 29 § 1; 1963 c 4 § 36.23.065. Prior: 1957 c 201 § 1.]