New Supreme Court Decision Regarding Public Records Act

The Washington State Supreme Court issued its decision today in City of Federal Way v. Koenig, __ Wn.2d __ (Oct. 15, 2009), holding that the Public Records Act (chapter 42.56 RCW) does not apply to the judiciary or judicial records.  The court did not find a compelling reason to overturn the case Nast v. Michels, 107 Wn.2d 300 (1986), where the court held the Act does not apply to court files because the judiciary is not included in the Act’s definition of “agency.”  The dissent (authored by Justice Stephens, joined by Chief Justice Alexander) took the position that Nast should be construed narrowly to apply to court case files only, and that the Act should be read broadly to include the judiciary as an “agency.”  Click here to view the case.

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