Tri-City Herald Reports on Massive Document Production in Response to Request from Annexation Opponent
The ongoing controversy over a City of Pasco annexation authorized by legislation adopted by the State Legislature in 2009 (ESSB 5808), has resulted in broad requests for City public records. The requests are so expansive as to cause substantial delay in production of the public records. This is not an unusual occurrence, as the Public Records Act (PRA) is regularly used as a political tool against public agencies. This approach is completely permissible under Washington law, as a requester need not identify the purpose for the records request. Washington has regularly recognized that the often substantial cost of compliance, even in the face of an unjustified records request, is outweighed by the policy supporting public access to documents. The Legislature and courts have only responded to date with respect to prisoner's suits under the PRA. See January 20, 2011 posting on this blog.