Public Record Requests

The City is committed to providing 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. These procedures are to provide for the fullest assistance to the public and the timeliest possible action on requests.

The City’s Online Public Records Request Portal streamlines the public records process. In the portal, you can 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.

Public Record Fees

The City determined by Order Covering Charges for Public Records Requests, signed by the City Manager on January 16, 2018, that it would be unduly burdensome for City staff to calculate actual costs for each and every record request to which records are responsive, given the large volume of requests received by the City and limited staff available to fulfill such requests.  Therefore, the City has adopted the default charges set forth in RCW 42.56.120.

Record ItemCost
Inspection of recordsNo charge
Photocopy of paper records, or printed (paper) copies of electronic records, or use of City’s equipment to photocopy public records: $0.15 per page
Records scanned into an electronic format, or use of City’s equipment to scan the records$0.10 per page
Files and attachments uploaded to email, cloud-based data storage services, or other means of electronic delivery$0.05 for per four electronic files or attachments
Files and attachments transmitted in an electronic format, or the use of City’s equipment to send the records electronically $0.10 per gigabyte
Digital storage media or device provided by the CityActual cost
Container or envelope used to mail the copiesActual cost
Postage or delivery charges Actual cost

 Large requests exceeding $25 requires a deposit up to 10% of estimated costs before proceeding with fulfilling request.

The charges above may be combined to the extent more than one type of charge applies to copies responsive to a particular request.

If the City makes a request available on a partial or installment basis, the City may charge for each part of the request as it is provided. If an installment of a records request is not claimed or reviewed, the agency is not obligated to fulfill the balance of the request.

The City may also include a customized service charge if the request requires the use of information technology expertise to prepare data compilations, or provide customized electronic access services when such compilations and customized access services are not used by the City for other purposes.

Payments are required in advance, and can be made by cash, money order, or check made payable to the City of Lacey.

Responding to Public Record Requests

In compliance with RCW 42.56.520, the City will respond to a public records request within five business days of receipt by one of the following options. 

  • Provide the record(s), for inspection and/or copying of the record after payment of any applicable fees (see Fee Schedule below);
  1. Provide an internet address and link to the record(s) on the agency’s website;
  2. Acknowledge your request and give you a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to respond;
  3. Acknowledge the request and seek clarification to the greatest extent possible, and provide an estimate of time to respond if not clarified; or,
  4. Deny the request in writing with reasons for the denial (this could also include a denial of part of your request and granting of the remainder). If a request is denied, a written statement will be provided with the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record or section, and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld.

A reasonable estimate of time necessary to respond is based on the need to:

  •     Request clarification of an unclear request 
  •     Locate and assemble the information requested 
  •     Notify persons or agencies affected by the request 
  •     Determine whether any of the information is exempt from disclosure 
  •     Request a deposit before copying or scanning records

In compliance with RCW 42.56, a public records response must be made within five business days. According to general statute, RCW 1.12.040, the day the request is received does not count as one of the five business days.  

Records Officer & Defintions

The City Clerk is the designated Records Officer for the City. This office is responsible for ensuring the City is in compliance with the Public Records Act. The City provides access to public records under the provisions of the Washington State Public Records Act (RCW 42.56).
A “public record” includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government, used, prepared, owned, or retained by any state or local agency.

“Writing” 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. (RCW 42.56.010)

All records maintained by the City are available for public inspection unless specifically exempted by law. Specific information describing the record requested will help expedite the process.


In general, public records that are exempt from public disclosure are those in the categories listed in RCW 42.56.

Reference must be made to this statute to determine on a case-by-case basis whether a particular record is exempt. When a city denies a request for disclosure of a public record, it must identify the specific statutory exemption upon which the denial is based and provide a brief explanation of how that exemption applies. In addition, certain statutes outside of the public records law also prohibit disclosure of particular records. For more information, visit Municipal Research and Services Center

Non-existent documents

There is no Washington case that has determined whether a duty to create an otherwise nonexistent document exists under RCW 42.56, there is a federal law on this issue. Under the Freedom of Information Act, an agency is not required to create a record which is otherwise non-existent.

Department Contact
Elissa Fontaine, CMC

City Clerk

TEL: 360-486-8704


City Clerk


phone: 360-491-3214

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm