Yes. When a request is made for a large number of records, the Public Records Official may provide access for inspection and copying in installments, if he or she reasonably determines that it would be practical to provide the records in that manner. If, within 30 days, the requestor fails to inspect the entire set of records or one or more of the installments, the Public Records Official may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request. Likewise, if payment for an installment is not made, the Public Records Official may stop searching for the remaining records and close the request.
RCW 42.56.520 provides that a response to a request for public records must be made within five (5) business days. The day the request is received does not count as one of the five (5) days. Weekends and holidays observed by the agency are also excluded in the calculation. Within the five (5) days, the County will do one of the following: – provide the records (or an installment of the records) – acknowledge receipt of the request and give an estimated timetable for delivery – ask for clarification – deny the request with a statement as to why the record is being withheld and a citation of the applicable state or federal statute.
No. Once the County receives a public records request, the request itself becomes a public record of the County. Someone else may make a public records request for that document and we will provide it.
No. Washington case law has established that an agency is not required to create a record which is otherwise non-existent.
Each record must be reviewed to determine whether it is exempt from disclosure. Most exemptions are listed in RCW 42.56.230 – 42.56.480. However, certain state and federal statutes outside the Public Records Act also provide exemptions from disclosure or prohibitions on disclosure of particular records. When a county denies a request for disclosure of a public record, the specific statutory exemption on which the denial is based must be identified, along with a brief explanation of how the exemption applies.
A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic media, paper, email, microfilm audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs). A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public records request. You do not have to identify the record you want with exact precision, but as much detail as you can provide will be helpful. Our staff may assist in clarifying your request.