Washington law emphasizes the public’s right to access public records, and encourages a transparent government process. Essentially, every document possessed by a government agency must be provided to a citizen upon request, unless the document is exempt by statute. Moreover, if the government wrongfully fails to provide a requested record, the government can be liable for costs and attorney fees. The Open Public Meetings Act lays out the rules on what government meetings must be open to the public.
If you need assistance making a public records request, or you believe you were wrongfully denied a public records request, contact me for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Depending on the case, I may handle the case on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing for legal fees, and I only get paid if we are successful.
If a release of a public record would harm you, you may be able to get a court order (injunction) preventing the release of the record if specific requirements are met. Contact me if this situation applies to you.
Public Records Act cases in the news
–PSE moves to drop their appeal in public records act case involving Tacoma LNG plant and Jay Wilkinson Law’s client. October 14, 2016.
–Tacoma News Tribune joins in on fight to get LNG plant records disclosed to public, September 6, 2016. Jay Wilkinson Law represents the Defendant in the companion case, discussed in the article below.
–Records on LNG plant in Tacoma should be disclosed, Pierce County judge rules, May 13, 2016. Jay Wilkinson Law represents the Defendant in this case. Here is a copy of the court’s order.
–State Supreme Court rules against Lindquist in phone records case, Tacoma News Tribune, August 27, 2015.
-Justices toss Washington’s Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (Anti-SLAPP) law, The Seattle Times, May 28, 2015.
–What Two Programmers Have Revealed So Far About Seattle Police Officers Who Are Still in Uniform, The Stranger, May 6, 2015.
–UW broke state open-meetings law 24 times, judge rules, The Seattle Times, April 24, 2015.