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Issaquah Law Group - Injury Litigation Attorneys

TRUST: Personal injuries are personal. Which is why the attorneys at ILG treat every client and every case differently. Because they are different, and extremely personal. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built on trust. Trust that you will be heard. Trust that you will be protected. Trust that every effort will be made to see justice done in your case. The singular goal of every ILG attorney is to earn and preserve that trust.

EXPERIENCE: ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals and we bring this experience to bear on behalf of our clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents, bus versus pedestrian accidents, defective and dangerous products, medical malpractice, slip/trip and fall accidents, and catastrophic losses due to fire.

LOCATION: We are located on the Eastside in Issaquah, convenient to Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Renton, Sammamish and North Bend. However, we provide legal services in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County and throughout the entire state of Washington.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Supreme Court: PRA Requires Some Detailed Explanation as to Claimed Exemptions

City of Lakewood v. Koenig

Lakewood redacted some drivers’ license numbers within PRA requests. They cited generally some statutes, including RCW 42.56.240 (general law enforcement exemptions), RCW 46.52.120 (Records of Convictions and Infractions), and RCW 46.52.130 (abstract of driving record). Note that there is no subsection there, just the general statute. 

After being called to the carpet over the vagueness, the city responded with another citation and a case, and said that redaction of drivers’ license numbers was “self-evident.” 

We find the city's response did not meet [the] standard. In its response to each request, the city either failed to cite a specific exemption or failed to provide any explanation for how a cited "other" statute exemption applied to the redacted driver’s license numbers in the specific records produced. Consequently the burden was shifted to the requester to sift through the statutes cited by the city and parse out possible exemption claims. This was improper under the PRA.

Now, we are left with a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, the rules don’t require a correct explanation of the cited authority for withholding, but it does require some explanation. The four person dissent points out that this opinion will have the effect of requiring a correct citation. 

Interesting case, for sure.

Issaquah Legal Services Personal Injury Attorneys are skilled in using the Public Records Act to move you case forward and can help you in parsing through the complexities of the PRA if you need to respond.

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