Public Records Request

Pursuant to SMC 3.01.820, the City Clerk acts as the City of Spokane Records Officer. It is the role of the Records Officer to provide public access to current, as well as historical, documents. The City of Spokane provides access to public records under the provisions of the Washington State Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56).

All records maintained by the City of Spokane are available for public inspection unless specifically exempted by law. You are entitled to access public records, under reasonable conditions, and copies of those records can be provided upon paying copying costs. In most cases, you do not have to explain why you want the records. However, specific information may be necessary to process your request. The City may require further information to establish if disclosure would violate certain provisions of law.

The more precisely you can identify the record(s) you seek, the more responsive the City can be. The City of Spokane provides access to existing public records in its possession but is not required to collect information or organize data to create a record not existing at the time of the request. Keep in mind that a question or request for information only is not a request for a record.

How to submit a Public Records Request

To submit a Public Records Request you can either use the online form or one of the following other ways:

City Clerk's Office
  1. Download the City Clerk's Office Public Request form (PDF 63 KB).
  2. Submit your request via:
    • E-mail cityclerk@spokanecity.org
    • In person or by mail at:

      City Clerk's Office
      5th Floor, City Hall
      808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
      Spokane, WA 99201

    • Phone: 509.625.6350
    • Fax: 509.625.6217
Fire Department Records
  1. Download the EMS records release form (PDF 96 KB) for EMS records, or the Fire records form (PDF 18 KB) for other requests.
  2. Submit your request via:
    • In person or by mail at:

      Spokane Fire Department
      Fire Prevention Bureau
      44 W. Riverside Avenue
      Spokane, WA 99201-0189

    • By phone at 509.625.7000
    • By fax at 509.625.7006
Municipal Court
  1. Download the form (PDF 35 KB).
  2. Submit your request via:
    • In person or by mail at:

      Spokane Municipal Court
      Public Safety Building
      1100 W. Mallon Avenue
      Spokane, WA 99260

    • By phone at 509.625.4400
    • By fax at 509.625.4442
Police Department

Use our online form to submit your request.

If a record request is made that does not use the City's Public Records Request form, the request should contain the following information:

  • Date and time of request
  • Name of requestor
  • Address of requestor
  • Contact information (telephone number and e-mail address)
  • Identification of the requested public records
  • Location (department) of requested record(s), if known
  • Indicate if you intend to inspect the records and/or obtain a copy of the record(s)
  • If requesting any lists of individuals (natural persons), signed certification (see Public Records form) that the list will not be used in connection with a commercial business or profit-oriented venture (RCW 42.56.070(9))

How the City will respond to your Public Records Request

The City will respond to a request for public records within five business days of receipt (RCW 42.56.520).

The City will respond by either:

  1. Providing the record(s), or the disclosable portion(s) of the records, for inspection and/or copying of the record after payment of any applicable fees.
  2. Acknowledging receipt of the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time necessary to respond based on the need to:
    • Request clarification of an unclear request
    • Locate and assemble the records requested
    • Notify persons or agencies affected by the request
    • Determine whether any of the records are exempt from disclosure
    • Request a deposit before duplication of records
  3. Denying the request. If a request is denied, a written statement shall be provided to the requestor of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record (or part) and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld.

The requestor must claim or review the assembled records within 30 days of the City's notification that the records are available. If the requestor fails to claim or review the records within 30 days, or make other arrangements, the City may close the request and refile the assembled records. If this should happen, a new public records request will need to be filed.

Fees

Cities are not allowed to charge for staff time spent in locating a public record, or for making a record available for inspection. A city can, however, charge for the actual costs connected with copying public records, including the staff time spent making the copies. A city cannot charge more than fifteen cents a page for photocopying unless the city has calculated its actual costs per page and determined that they are greater than fifteen cents. Actual costs for postage and delivery can be included, as well as the cost of any mailing supplies. If a city has to pay an outside source for making duplicates of records, such as photographs, blueprints or tape recordings, the city can also pass those costs on to the requestor. (RCW 42.56.120)

Basic Fee Schedule*

Effective January 1, 2011

Service/Materials Fee
Review of requested records No charge
Letter, legal size, or 11" x 17"(color or black and white)
  • No Charge for 10 pages or less
  • $0.15 per page if request is for 11 pages or more
Actual charge If materials need to be copied by an outside source or the City of Spokane''s Reprographic Division, the requestor pays the actual amount invoiced to the City by the Vendor.
Postage Actual postage costs
  • Audio tapes
  • Compact discs (from MIS for e-mail requests)
  • DVDs from City Channel Five
  • Other CD/DVDs
  • $5.00 per tape
  • $4.00 per CD
  • $12.00 per DVD
  • Actual cost of CD: $1.00
    Actual cost of DVD: $1.00
Engineering Services/Building Services: Standard Size Plan (24" x 36" sheet) $2.00 per plan sheet

Note: Fees may be charged above the basic fee schedule if a department has determined specific charges for a particular record.

*Municipal Court, Police Department, Fire Department - EMS, and Spokane Public Library are not covered under this cost schedule.

Phone: 509.755.CITYFax: 509.625.6217Email: info@spokanecity.org

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