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Published on Friday, January 30, 2015

Proposed legislation would reroute public records fines to State Archivist

Next Thursday, February 5 at 1:30 pm, the House State Government Committee will hear HB 1691, concerning remedies for actions under the public records act.

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim), leaves it up to the discretion of the courts as to whether a person prevailing in a public records case is to be awarded costs and attorney’s fees. In addition, the bill amends the public records act by awarding any discretionary fines levied against an agency to the State Archives, as opposed to the prevailing party. However, the court may award a portion of the fine to the prevailing person in an amount that would reimburse them for any demonstrated financial loss caused by the failure of the agency to timely release the public record or respond to the request.

Categories: Open government