The county withheld some emails exchanged between the county prosecutor and the DOE, claiming that they were work product.
Allphin argued that the county waived the work product privilege by communicating with DOE. Sky Allphin , Wn.
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In a decision, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed, ruling that under the common interest doctrine, the communications between the county and DOE remain privileged under the work product doctrine. John Does v. Department of Corrections , Wn. The state indicated that it would review the records for possible exemptions.
Ultimately the state was enjoined from releasing the evaluations and that decision was appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court decision and that decision was then appealed to the supreme court. In a divided opinion, the court reversed. The main issue covered by the decision was whether SSOSA evaluations are exempt from disclosure because they contain health care information. The court held that they were not exempt.
The evaluations are designed to assist the court in determining whether alternative sentencing is warranted. They are like forensic examinations, which are not subject to the same privacies and privileges as medical evaluations. Amenability to treatment is not a medical determination. SSOSA evaluations require a proposed treatment plan, but that alone is not sufficient to render it "health care information. West v. City of Puyallup , 2 Wn. The city provided some documents, but not the posts.
West sued and the court concluded that the Facebook records were not public records.
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West appealed and the court of appeals affirmed, stating:. The court disagreed. Door was not acting in her official capacity as a councilmember and she was not conducting public business on her page. The page did not meet the criteria for being a disclosable public record. County may delay responding to public records request so it can notify third party.
John Doe v. Benton County , Wn. While the county determined the requested records likely should be made available, it notified the persons referenced in the requested records, allowing them to take a court action to prohibit the release. John Doe took exception to the request and sought and was granted an injunction to prevent the county from releasing the records. The requestor made a cross claim against the county, arguing that the county improperly withheld the records. The trial court dismissed the cross claim and, on appeal, that decision was affirmed. There was no denial of the record and, by RCW The county could take additional time to make the third party notification.
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It was not improper for the county to provide information regarding who was making the records request. White v. Clark County , Wn. Previously White had requested the ballots prior to their tabulation and that request was rejected by the courts. The county rejected the request, indicating that the ballots were exempt from disclosure, both under the state constitution Article VI, section 6 and by RCW 29A.
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The trial court agreed and White appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. White was not entitled to disclosure because both RCW 29A. Reasonableness of the search for a record is determined by the nature of the search process, not upon whether the record exists. Rufin v. Some of the records were produced more than 60 days following the request. Due to multiple requests, the court determined the delay was not unreasonable. Even though the city did not initially find that record does not mean that it had not conducted a reasonable search; the court will review the nature of the search process.
Some records were requested to be provided before a stated date time is of the essence ; delay in providing the records until after that date is not a violation if there was a reason for the delay. Public Records Act may apply to a private nonprofit organization if the organization is the functional equivalent of a government agency.
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Fortgang v. Woodland Park Zoo , Wn. Although some records were provided, others were not. Fortgang sued and the trial court concluded that the Society was not covered by the PRA. On appeal, the Supreme Court agreed and affirmed. The court found that a nonprofit could be covered by the PRA, if it were the functional equivalent to a government agency.
To make that determination the court applied a four-part test, originally developed in the decision Telford v. Thurston County Board of Commissioners , 95 Wn.
In applying the test to the Society, the court found the Society to not be a functional equivalent. Balancing the Telford test components, while the funding element was inconclusive, the others did not support functional equivalency. Requesting a clarification on a records request does not extend the time to provide the records or indicate that more time was needed.
Hikel v. City of Lynnwood , Wn. Initially, the city identified , emails. Within five days, the city emailed Hikel, acknowledging receipt of the request, asking for clarification due to the large volume of responsive records, informing him that the city might need to supply the records in installments and indicating that, once it received his reply, it would notify him of an anticipated date of completion.
Later, the city determined that the number of emails was substantially fewer than originally indicated. The city notified Hikel of this and set a date when the first installment would be available. Hikel did not come to the city on the date indicated, but waited until a later date and inquired of a city worker who was not familiar with the records being available. Hikel wrote a letter regarding the delay and, ultimately, filed a lawsuit. The city continued to prepare the records, as had been requested.
The trial court dismissed the lawsuit and an appeal was filed. The court found that the city initially failed to provide a date when the records would be provided; requesting a clarification did not extend the time allowed to either provide the records or request additional time. The Public Records Act required the city to provide a reasonable estimate within five days, and its failure to do so violated the Act.
The city, which had indicated that the first installment would be available on a stated day, was not required to further notify that the records were then available. Records relating to public business on personal computer are subject to disclosure. Steve Vermillion City of Puyallup , Wn. Vermillion refused to provide the documents found at his home, on his personal computer and on his personal email account, citing his rights of privacy under the state and federal constitutions.
West sued and the trial court required Vermillion to provide those documents that were public. On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that it was proper to require the production of emails from a personal email account that met the definition of a public record and to require submittal of an affidavit in good faith attesting to the adequacy of the search for the requested records. The court held that the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution and article I, section 7 of the Washington Constitution do not afford an individual privacy interest in public records contained in the personal email account.
In reaching its decision, the court relied on the recent case Nissen v. Pierce County , Wn. There is no constitutional privacy right to records that are public records. The possible disclosure of public records does not violate the right to association. Belenski v. On appeal, the supreme court reversed, concluding that the one year statute of limitations under the Public Records Act, RCW Providing an exempt record to another party engaged in litigation does not waive the work product privilege.
Allphin objected and claimed that by the county sharing the some internal emails with Ecology, it had waived the work product privilege. The court of appeals disagreed. A party waives the attorney work product privilege if it discloses documents to other persons with the intention that an adversary can see the documents.
The presence of a third person during the communication waives the privilege, unless the third person is necessary for the communication or has retained the attorney on a matter of "common interest. Lawsuit barred if not brought within one year of last submittal of public records. City of Lakewood , Wn.
As to the first request, the city answered that the records were exempt because the investigation was on-going.
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