Legislative Department Public Records Disclosure Requests

The Legislative Department is comprised of the nine-member Seattle City Council, Council staff, and the Office of the City Clerk.

Requests to review or copy Legislative Department's public records should be made in writing on the Legislative Department's request form, linked to below, by letter, fax, or email.

Please remember our office can only provide records within its custody or control. A list of City of Seattle Public Records Officers is provided to assist you in locating records where the Legislative Department may not be the records custodian.

The following information needs to be included:

  • Name, address, telephone and or email address of the requestor
  • Sufficient information to identify the public record, including date range of records requested
  • Date of the request

A number of public records are available online free of charge. These records include ordinances, council bills, resolutions, council minutes, and council agendas.

Appointments are required to review records compiled in response to a public records request, in order to provide the most efficient use of your time and public resources.

Cost of Public Records

  • There is no charge for inspecting public records
  • Black and white copies (8 ½ x 11) are 15 cents per page
  • Mailing includes actual cost of postage and shipping container
  • Other media will incur actual cost of materials
  • Large Requests (RCW 42.56.120)
    • The Legislative Department may charge a deposit of up to ten percent of the estimated cost of an entire request before copying records
    • May provide copies in installments
    • May require advance payment prior to providing additional installments

Payments must be made payable to the Office of the City Clerk.
(Cash and Checks are currently the only accepted forms of payment)

Function of Public Records Act Officer

  • Oversee compliance with the Public Records Act
  • Provide the fullest assistance to requestors
  • Coordinate department response to requests
  • Protect records from destruction
  • Fulfill requests in a timely manner

Responding to Public Records

Within five business days of the receipt of the request, the Public Records Act Officer will do one or more of the following:
Five-day rule begins one working day after receipt of the request

  • Make records available for inspection or copying
  • Acknowledge receipt of request and provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available 
  • Send requested copies to requestor if payment has been received
  • Seek clarification of unclear requests
  • Deny the request with explanation of denial

All records will be released if they do not fall within the specific exemptions of the Public Records Act or other statutes which exempt or prohibit disclosure of specific information or records.

The Public Records Act Officer will describe why each withheld record or redacted portion of a record is exempt from disclosure.

In compliance with RCW 42.56.070(9), the Legislative Department does not disclose lists of individuals for commercial purposes. An affidavit certifying that records containing lists of individuals will not be used for commercial purposes is required prior to their release.

Additional Important Information/Careful Attention

Third Party Notification – In the event that the requested records contain information that may affect the rights of others and may be exempt from disclosure, the Public Records Act Officer in accordance with RCW 42.56.540 may, prior to providing the records, give notice to such others whose rights may be affected by the disclosure, including providing a copy of the request.

Later discovered documents – In the event additional responsive records are discovered that existed at the time the request was made, the requestor will be promptly notified by the Public Records Act Officer and provided an opportunity to review and or copy the records.

Withdrawn or abandoned requests – When the requestor either withdraws the request or fails to fulfill his or her obligations to inspect the records, pay the deposit, or make final payment within thirty days for the requested copies, the Public Records Act Officer will close the request and notify the requestor the request has been closed.

Administrative Appeal/Review of Denials

A requestor may submit a written request petitioning the review of any denied record to:

Monica Martinez Simmons
Public Records Act Appeals Officer

P.O. Box 94728
Seattle, WA 98124-4728
Phone: 206-684-8361

The appeals officer will respond within two business days of receipt of the appeal.

Public Records

A "public record" is defined to include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic.

"Writing" as defined in the disclosure statutes means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation, including, but not limited to, letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, motion picture, film and video recordings, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, diskettes, sound recordings, and other documents including existing data compilations from which information may be obtained or translated.