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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts by P. Stephen DiJulio

What is an Agency

What is an Agency's Obligation When a Records Request May Suggest Requester's "Commercial Purpose"?

May 9, 2016 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

A summary of the court's decision in SEIU Healthcare v. DSHS and Freedom Foundation and what that means for public records disclosure requests.

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Lack of “Serious Independent Analysis" of Exemptions Can Result in Finding of Bad Faith Under PRA

Lack of “Serious Independent Analysis" of Exemptions Can Result in Finding of Bad Faith Under PRA

September 29, 2015 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

In Adams v. Washington State Department of Corrections, the Court of Appeals held that for purposes of penalty calculation for agencies that do not comply with public records requests under RCW 42.56.565(1), an agency will be punished for “bad faith” if it fails to engage “in any serious independent analysis of the exempt status of documents.”

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Washington Court Holds Ballots Secret and Not Subject to Public Disclosure

Washington Court Holds Ballots Secret and Not Subject to Public Disclosure

August 25, 2015 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

The 2015 court decision White v. Skagit County and Island County concluded that ballots are exempt from disclosure due to the vital government function of holding secret ballot elections.

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When is a Committee Not a Committee under the OPMA?

April 1, 2014 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Open Government Advisor

The Washington Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), chapter 42.30 RCW, applies to a "governing body" as well as to a committee that "acts on behalf of" a governing body. The key definitions from the OPMA, at RCW 42.30.020, include as follows:

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Balancing the Council's Right to Manage Meetings With Expectations of Citizens

March 1, 2012 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Council-Commission Advisor

Many city and county councils may be unsure about their ability to respond to disruptive conduct for fear of violating their citizens' First Amendment rights to free speech. A recent decision from the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights and provides guidance on these issues.

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Why the Government lawyer may not be the lawyer of the Council or Commission

March 1, 2012 by P. Stephen DiJulio
Category: Council-Commission Advisor

This column focuses on the need for communication among government clients and their lawyers and summarizes the foundations for what is generally understood as the "entity" approach to legal representation of municipal  corporations.

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