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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Benton-Franklin County judges sue clerk to keep paper files

PASCO, Wash. – All seven judges from the Benton-Franklin County Superior Court have sued the Franklin County court clerk, alleging he has failed to follow a court rule to keep paper files of court cases.

KONA-AM reports that the lawsuit filed in Franklin County Wednesday alleges Clerk Michael Killian, who is elected, has refused to follow the court’s direction.

The lawsuit says Killian told the court he would begin operating a paperless court records system earlier this year. In January, the court passed a local rule directing clerks to maintain paper files for all court cases until it can ensure that a paperless system will serve the community.

Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom says he believes judge have the authority to order clerks to maintain paper files.

Killian said the county has been on an electronic system that is used statewide and allows judges to access all files from wherever they are.

He estimates that the paperless system saves taxpayers about $20,000 per year.

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