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Posts by Ramsey Ramerman

Supreme Court: Fire District Email Policy Violated First Amendment

Supreme Court: Fire District Email Policy Violated First Amendment

February 22, 2018 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Open Government Advisor

A recent Washington Supreme Court ruling found that the Spokane Valley Fire District's policy prohibiting employees from using department email accounts to send religious messages violated the First Amendment. This post looks at the implications for public agencies statewide. 

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The Supreme Court Narrowly Construes the “Minimum-Value” Executive Session Exception to the OPMA

The Supreme Court Narrowly Construes the “Minimum-Value” Executive Session Exception to the OPMA

June 12, 2017 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Open Public Meetings Act , Open Government Advisor

On June 8, the Washington Supreme Court issued its opinion in Columbia Riverkeepers v. Port of Vancouver, adopting a very narrow interpretation of the executive session “exception” to the OPMA for discussion about the sale or lease of real estate (the “minimum-value exception”). In this blog post, guest author Ramsey Ramerman breaks down the case. 

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Agencies Must Provide a “Reasonable Time Estimate” in their 5-day Response, Even When Seeking Clarification.

Agencies Must Provide a “Reasonable Time Estimate” in their 5-day Response, Even When Seeking Clarification.

January 20, 2017 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Court Decisions and AGO Opinions , Open Government Advisor , Public Records Act

In this blog post, guest author Ramsey Ramerman provides an overview of the Washington Court of Appeals' recent decision in Hikel v. City of Lynnwood, where the court held that a reasonable time estimate is always required with an agency's response to a PRA request that does not fully resolve the request, even when the agency seeks clarification that may affect that time estimate.

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Addressing Disruptions at Public Meetings

April 18, 2012 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Open Public Meetings Act , Legislative Body , Open Government Advisor

When members of the public disrupt a public meeting, the disruption poses several challenges for the governing body. A recent incident at a local school district highlights the procedural hoops a governing body must go through if they attempt to address the disruption by adjourning the meeting and reconvening it in another location. A recent federal case from California exposes liability risks...

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Supreme Court Underscores the Requirement to Produce an Exemption Log under the PRA

March 1, 2012 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Open Government Advisor

This Advisor column was originally published in February 2009.

In its most recent public records act decision, Rental Housing Authority v. City of Des Moines, 2009 WL 146541 (Jan. 22, 2009), the Supreme Court ruled that the City of Des Moines did not trigger the one-year statute of limitations...

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Court Holds Agencies Can Enforce Their Public Records Act Policies

March 1, 2012 by Ramsey Ramerman
Category: Open Government Advisor

This Advisor column was originally published in March 2009.

In a recently published opinion, Parmelee v. Clarke, -- Wn. App. --, 2008 WL 5657802 (publication ordered Feb. 2009), Division II of the Court of Appeals gave teeth to the Department of Corrections Publi...

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