Sign up for the Open Government eNewsletter
We warmly welcome your thoughts on og-blog and especially welcome your emails with suggested postings and links to interesting stories and court cases. If you have something to say about open government in Washington State, sending it to og-blog is probably the best way to get it out. Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Great Public Records Act Court Decision: Zink v. City of Mesa

Today the Court of Appeals issued a decision in Zink v. City of Mesa. It holds that there is no limit to the number of requests a person may make. It also holds that an agency must actually properly respond to each request; "substantial compliance" (that is, "we sorta tried") is not enough. The bottom line of Zink: an agency must respond to public records requests even if doing so is a hassle. It's the law. See RCW 42.56.550(3): "Courts shall take into account the policy of [the Act] that free and open examination of public records is in the public interest, even though such examination may cause inconvenience or embarrassment to public officials or others." (emphasis added).