What is a Public Record?
A public record is 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 characteristics." (RCW 42.56.010(2)).
A writing is broadly defined and includes: "handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication ore 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(3)).
You may request public documents maintained by Public Health — Seattle & King County by specifying the type of document you are seeking. For instance, if you would like a copy of a swimming pool inspection, you will need to specify the address of the swimming pool, as well as the time frame for which you are seeking the document(s): "I would like inspection reports for the last 3 years for the swimming pool located in the ABC Apartments at 12345 Random Street in Seattle, 98101."
Please note that many documents are not electronic, so we must have a mailing address in order to process the request. Once your request is received, you will be advised of applicable costs and the anticipated time that it will take to produce any documents that may exist responsive to your request.
Access other types of records
- If you were a patient at a Public Health – Seattle & King County clinic, read instructions on how to get a copy or release your medical information to a third-party (someone else).
- On-site sewage as-built record drawings
- For other records, select a King County agency to submit a request for records included in the Public Records Act