Definition of Public Record
Washington law defines records as “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.” A recent Supreme Court ruling has said that accident reports are also public records. 1
Exemptions to Public Records
There are 46 exemptions. Most exemptions are versions of what can be found in many other state FOIA laws. These cover subjects such as the discovery exemption, law enforcement investigatory documents are exempt, as are deliberative process records. 2
Who Can Make The Request?
5 days. 3
Information on Fees
Search fees may not be charged, and the standard rate for photocopies are fifteen cents per page. 4
The Public Records Act is generally enforced through private litigation. Any person who has been refused to allow inspection or copying of public records may demand judicial review through a civil lawsuit. RCW 42.56.550. Likewise, any person who believes that an agency has not provided a reasonable estimate of time that the agency requires to respond to a public records request may seek judicial review. 5
Yes, you can win them.