Family Court Closure

Due to County budget shortfalls, the Cowlitz County Family Court Office is being closed indefinitely, effective October 8th, 2013.  Superior Court Staff will no longer conduct investigations involving domestic relations matters.  As an alternative to our current process, parties that are involved in domestic relations cases will be able to have a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) appointed from a rotational registry to investigate their case.  A Guardian Ad Litem is a person appointed by the Court as an independent investigator who will make recommendations “in the best interest of the child”. 

All pending and new domestic relations cases needing an investigation will be assigned to our new guardian ad litem registry.  All Guardians Ad Litem serving on this registry are trained consistent with state law and are required to comply with a strict code of conduct.  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. 

“We realize this has been a very difficult and unnerving change for clients and attorneys.  This has been a difficult decision and balancing act between the lack of resources and the needs of children.  We would request your patience as we move through these changes.  I would like to thank the staff that has worked in Family Court over the years.  Our decision to close family court is not a reflection on them or the quality of their work but a result of the economic realities facing our county and community”, said Judge Stephen Warning.  

If you have questions or concerns regarding your case or need to make a payment, please call Superior Court Administration at (360) 577-3085.  You can also email questions to the Superior Court at


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TELEPHONE: (360) 577-3085
TTY (800) 883-6388 OR 7115
Superior Court Administration Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
KELSO, WA 98626
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