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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Emails on Seattle School District Server Not "Public Records"

A King County Superior Court judge ruled that emails on a school district email server about union activities are not "public records." For good measure, the judge sealed the emails in the court files forever. This link explains it all.

This case also illustrates the common problem of an agency not really wanting to release the records and getting sued by a third party adamantly opposing disclosure (here, a teacher union). This creates a "friendly" law suit in which the agency doesn't put up much of a fight for disclosure. Who is left to protect the public interest in disclosure?