Civil/Small Claims/Name Change


If the value of the claim or the amount at issue does not exceed $100,000, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorneys' fees, the District Court shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of these civil actions and proceedings.

Small Claims

The small claims department has jurisdiction over civil actions seeking the recovery of money only if the amount claimed does not exceed $5,000, as per Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 12.40.010. A plaintiff who allegedly has suffered damages in excess of this amount nonetheless may file in small claims court, but by doing so he or she waives the right to recover anything in excess of the small claims department's jurisdiction.

The small claims department's jurisdiction is not exclusive, as per RCW 12.40.010. Such an action also may be brought in district court or superior court, although the case then would be handled according to the more complex and formal procedures which govern civil actions in those courts.

Small Claims Brochure (PDF)

Name Change

Any person desiring a change of his or her name, or that of his or her child or ward, may apply to the district court of the judicial district in which he or she resides. Residents of Columbia County may file for a name change with Columbia County District Court.

Please bring photo ID with you at the time of filing the petition with the court.  The filing fee is $73.00 made payable to Columbia County District Court, unless waived. Please contact the Columbia County Auditor's Office for recording fee payable to the Auditor's Office, unless waived.  If you are a person currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, you must show the court proof that you have submitted a copy of your Petition for Name Change to the Department of Corrections at least five (5) days before the court hears your petition.

If you are required to register as a sex offender, you must submit a copy of the Petition for Name Change to the Columbia County Sheriff and Washington State Patrol at least five (5) days before the hearing. If the Petition is granted, you must submit a copy of the Order Changing Name to the Columbia County Sheriff and the Washington State Patrol within five (5) days.

The Petitioner is responsible for sending a certified copy of the name change order to the Department of Licensing and the Social Security Administration.

If you have any questions about civil or small claims, please refer Columbia County's local rules or the Washington Courts website.