Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1952 No. 240 -
Attorney General Smith Troy


The land commissioner may broadcast notices of land sales not oftener than once per week for five weeks preceding the sale on any one broadcasting station, but may employ as many broadcasting stations as he may deem necessary to give adequate notice and best serve the public interest.

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                                                                February 26, 1952

Honorable Jack Taylor
Commissioner of Public Lands
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                   Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 240

Dear Sir:

            We have your oral request for our opinion as to the frequency with which you may advertise land sales by radio pursuant to chapter 119, Laws of 1951.

            It is our conclusion that notice of land sales may be broadcast by any one radio station not oftener than once per week for five weeks prior to the date of the sale, but they may be broadcast on as many radio stations as shall be deemed advisable for the purpose of giving adequate public notice and serving the public interest.


            Section 1, chapter 119, Laws of 1951, reads as follows:

            "Any official of the state or any of its political subdivisions who is required by law to publish any notice required by law may supplement publication thereof by radio broadcast when, in his judgment, the public interest will be served thereby:  Provided, That such supplemental notice is restricted to spot announcements not to exceed in total number the number of publications now required by law for newspaper publications of the same:  Provided further, That the time, place and nature of such  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] notice only be read with no reference to any person by name then a candidate for political office, and that such announcements shall be made only by duly employed personnel of the station from which such broadcast emanates, and that announcements by political subdivisions may be made only by stations situated within the county of origin of the legal notice."  (Emphasis supplied)

            Publication of notices of land sales is governed by section 46, chapter 255, Laws of 1927 (Rem. Rev. Stat. 7797-46) which provides in part as follows:

            "* * * and the commissioner shall give notice of the sale by advertisement published once a week for five weeks next before the time he shall name in said notice, in at lease [least] one newspaper published and of general circulation in the county in which the whole, or any part of any lot, block or tract of land to be sold or the material upon which is to be sold is situated, * * *"

            Frequency of publication is thus limited to once per week.  The statute infers that publication may be made in more than one newspaper.  This obviously leaves it to the discretion of the land commissioner how many newspaper media may be employed.  There is no specification of the number of newspapers to be used in publishing such notices.  Likewise, in our opinion, there is no limitation in the number of radio stations that may be used for supplementing the newspaper notices, except such as will be reasonable to give adequate public notice and best serve the public interest.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General