Open Public Meetings Act and Public Records Act

Open Public Meetings Act and Public Records Act

Ann Marie Soto and Mike Kenyon lead our practice here. Given the exclusive municipal nature of our practice, we advise clients on a routine basis regarding the application of the OPMA and the PRA, and their exceptions and exemptions. Our firm provides regular training to public agencies and public officials regarding these Acts, and members of our firm frequently serve as guest lecturers on these issues. A few representative examples include:

  • Block v. City of Gold Bar, Court of Appeals Case No. 68163-0-I (2013).  Plaintiff alleged that the City violated the PRA by failing to properly respond to her requests for public records. The case was dismissed on the City’s motion to dismiss for Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the Court’s order for sanctions. The trial court’s dismissal was affirmed by Division One of the Court of Appeals.
     
  • Block, et al. v. City of Gold Bar and Gold Bar City Council, Court of Appeals Case No. 70321-8-I (2014). Plaintiffs claimed that the City Council violated the OPMA by unlawfully voting during an executive session. This case was dismissed on the City’s motion for summary judgment and the dismissal was upheld by Division One of the Court of Appeals.
     
  • Block v. City of Gold Bar, 189 Wn. App. 262, 355 P.3d 266 (2015). Plaintiff claimed the City violated the PRA by failing to adequately search for public records, improperly redacting and withholding records under the attorney-client and work product privileges, and failing to adequately identify exempt records on the City’s exemption logs. The case was dismissed on cross-motions for summary judgment. Division One of the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal in its recently published opinion.
     
  • Block v. City of Gold Bar, Snohomish County Case No. 15-2-04786-6. Plaintiff claimed the City violated the PRA by failing to properly respond to eleven public records requests. The case was dismissed on the City’s motion to dismiss based on Plaintiff’s failure to comply with an earlier order issued by the Court under CR 12(e) in September of 2015.
     
  • Block v. City of Gold Bar, Snohomish County Case No. 11-2-04307-8. Plaintiff claimed the City violated the PRA by failing to timely respond to her requests for public records. Plaintiff also alleged that purely personal e-mails of the City’s elected officials maintained in personal e-mail accounts were subject to disclosure under the PRA. The case was dismissed on the City’s motion for summary judgment in September of 2015.
     
  • Forbes v. Gold Bar, 171 Wn. App. 857, 288 P.3d 384 (2012). Citizen alleged violations of the Public Records Act, claiming the City of Gold Bar failed to timely respond to her requests for public records. Plaintiff also alleged that purely personal e-mails of the City’s elected officials maintained in personal e-mail accounts were subject to disclosure under the PRA. The superior court entered summary judgment in the City’s favor, plaintiff appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed that dismissal.
     
  • Clawson v. Corman. A sitting City Councilmember (and practicing attorney) filed suit against fellow Councilmembers, alleging violations of the OPMA. We successfully moved to dismiss this case on summary judgment. The plaintiff Councilmember appealed the dismissal, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the superior court’s order of summary judgment in favor of our Councilmember clients.
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