Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1974 NO. 1 > Jan 16 1974

The provisions of § 4 (1), chapter 202, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., do not prohibit persons obtaining specific investigative information regarding organized crime activities by reason of their public employment with the state of Washington or its political subdivisions from divulging that information to nonlaw enforcement agencies such as mayors, city councils, licensing departments, legislative committees or other regulatory bodies when called upon to do so in the performance of their official functions and duties.

AGO 1983 NO. 9 > May 17 1983

(1) The records of a public utility district concerning the names and addresses of individual customers are public records which such a district is required to furnish for public inspection and copying pursuant to the state public disclosure law (chapter 42.17 RCW). (2) An individual customer may not, on the basis of an asserted right of privacy, prevent disclosure of such records by instructing the public utility district not to permit it in his or her case. (3) Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, RCW 42.17.260(5) prohibits disclosure when the request is made for a list of customers by a commercial entity such as a bill collector or process server but not by governmental entities such as county sheriffs, the State Patrol, or a television reception improvement district not engaged in any "profit expecting" business activity.

AGO 1983 NO. 11 > Jun 7 1983

In providing the state central committee of each major political party with a duplicate copy of the master state‑wide computer tape or data file of registered voters ". . . at actual duplication costs, . . ." as required by RCW 29.04.160, the Secretary of State may not include in the charge the amounts his office was required to pay each county, in accordance with RCW 29.04.150, for a duplicate computer tape or data file of its records of registered voters in that county.

AGO 1998 NO. 13 > Nov 23 1998

Where a statute or court rule directs that courts will share information with one another for the better administration of justice, or other suitable purposes, county clerks are obligated to provide appropriate case file information to the Judicial Information System (JIS), including information otherwise classified as confidential; providing the information to the JIS is not a violation of the confidentiality statutes.

AGLO 1973 NO. 113 > Dec 12 1973

It is not a violation of Initiative No. 276 for a public agency to allow its public records to be examined by others for the purpose of compiling lists of information contained in those records; however, the agency itself is prohibited by the initiative from making and selling or giving away those lists.

AGO 1953 NO. 184 > Dec 22 1953

A county auditor will incur no liability by reason of recording a defectively executed or acknowledged instrument.