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Columbia County
341 E. Main St.
Dayton, WA 99328

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.

If no appeal is taken and the judgment is not paid within 30 days of the time set by the court in the payment plan, you may request, in writing, that the judgment be entered in the civil docket of the court.  There is a fee of $20.00.  You may then use the following options (The Court does not collect the judgment for you):

1.  Writ of Garnishment:  This is an order issued to the losing party's bank or employer, requiring a certain amount of the losing party's money to be given to the winning party.  It may be necessary for you to hire the help of an attorney to file this writ.

2.  Writ of Execution:  This is an order to the sheriff to seize certain property of the losing party, sell it and pay you from the proceeds of the sale.  It may be necessary for you to hire the help of an attorney to file this writ.

3.  Collection Agency:  The winning party can turn over the judgment to a state licensed collection agency.  If the agency collects the judgment, it usually keeps one-third to one-half of the amount as its fee.

4.  Real Estate Lien:  Upon payment of $20.00 you can receive a transcript of the judgment which you can file in Superior Court for a fee.  When this is done, it places a lien against all real estate in the name of the losing party which is located in this county.

Small Claims Brochure

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, 535 Cameron Street Dayton, WA 99328.

Fill out a Petition for Name Change at the District Court between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  When you file your petition, the clerk will set a time for your courtroom hearing.  You must bring picture ID with you for the hearing.

The filing fee is $73.00 made payable to Columbia County District Court.  Please contact the Columbia County Auditor's Office for recording fee payable to the Auditor's Office.  Certified copies of the Name Change Order are $5.00 a piece. 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.

Individual Name Change Packet

Minor Name Change Packet

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

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