National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Washington state appeals court voids $650K award to woman in public-records case

From The News Tribune:  A state appeals court panel has ruled that now-retired Pierce County Judge Frederick Fleming was wrong to award $650,000 in damages and fees to an abuse victim who sued the Department of Social and Health Services to get investigative records.

In a decision released Tuesday, the Division II panel ruled some of the records sought by Amber Wright were not subject to the state's Public Records Act and that others were not improperly withheld by DSHS because Wright's request for them was too vague.

[. . .]

The recording and transcript, as juvenile records governed by separate statute, are not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, they ruled. They also decided Wright never specifically asked for the protocols, so DSHS was not obligated to turn them over.

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