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Monday, October 12, 2009

Judge Blocks Release of Record ... But No One Cited a Legal Exemption from Disclosure

The Bellingham Herald reports on the outcome of their case to obtain a City of Bellingham report on the performance of Matia Contractors on a public works project.

The Public Records Act requires a party resisting disclosure to cite a statute allowing the record to be withheld, and also requires the party to persuade a court that the exemption from disclosure applies. No one, not Matia nor the City, has cited an exemption from disclosure, let alone described how it applies. In fact, Matia agreed that an exemption must be cited and that it had not done so. The judge still ruled for Matia.

NOTE: Allied Law Group's Greg Overstreet represented The Bellingham Herald in the case.