Knowledge Base

Public Records Requests

Category: Public Records

The City provides full access to public records in accordance with the Washington State Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) and any other applicable provisions of federal or state law.

Please visit the City’s Online Public Records Request Portal to create an account, submit a request, and view your disclosable records online. You can submit requests for the City, the Lacey Police Department, and Joint Animal Services using the portal.

What is a public record?

A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, electronic media, paper, email, microfilm audiotapes, videotapes, magnetic tapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs). A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public records request. You do not have to identify the record you want with exact precision, but as much detail as you can provide will be helpful. Our staff may assist in clarifying your request.

How do I submit a request?

The fastest way to submit a request for public records is to visit the City's online Public Records Portal

To submit a written request, please download, print, and complete the Public Records Request Form. Forms are also available at Lacey City Hall located at 420 College Street SE, Lacey, WA 98503.

What public information is exempt from disclosure?

Each record must be reviewed to determine whether it is exempt from disclosure. Most exemptions are listed in RCW 42.56.230 - 42.56.480. However, certain state and federal statutes outside the Public Records Act also provide exemptions from disclosure or prohibitions on disclosure of particular records. When a city denies a request for disclosure of a public record, the specific statutory exemption on which the denial is based must be identified, along with a brief explanation of how the exemption applies.

How are the five business days calculated when responding to a public records request?

RCW 42.56.520 provides that a response to a request for public records must be made within five (5) business days. The day the request is received does not count as one of the five (5) days. Weekends and holidays observed by the agency are also excluded in the calculation. Within the five (5) days, the City will do one of the following: -

  • provide the records (or an installment of the records)
  • acknowledge receipt of the request and give an estimated timetable for delivery
  • ask for clarification
  • deny the request with a statement as to why the record is being withheld and a citation of the applicable state or federal statute

Are public records requests confidential?

No. Once the City receives a public records request, the request itself becomes a public record of the City. Someone else may make a public records request for that document and we will provide it. The City posts the requests in the Public Records Archive.



Updated 9/27/2023 2:35 PM
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