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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

West v. Dep't of Nat. Resources--New Public Records Act Case

Here is the case.

Here is the summary provided by the court of the holding:

"Arthur West appeals from a trial court order that the Washington
State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) did not violate the Public Records Act (PRA). ch.
42.56 RCW. West seeks penalties for untimely disclosure and destruction of documents, an
injunction to prevent further destruction of records, and an order authorizing forensic recovery.
West argues that the DNR violated the PRA by (1) not responding to his request in five business
days, (2) destroying and/or delaying production of the public record emails of its chief financial
officer, (3) failing to search diligently for the emails, and (4) improperly exempting documents
from production as either attorney work product or attorney-client privileged. West also argues
that all of the trial court’s findings lack substantial evidence. Holding that the DNR violated the
PRA by not responding to West’s request within five business days, we reverse and remand in part."