Court rules in favor of inmate in suit over document request

OLYMPIA — The state Court of Appeals has ruled that the state Department of Licensing wrongfully withheld records from a prison inmate in 2009 and should pay penalties to the man for its violation of the Public Records Act.

The court on Tuesday ordered the case sparked by Derek Gronquist’s request be sent back to Thurston County Superior Court for imposition of unspecified fines of up to $100 per day. Gronquist had requested the business license application filed for Maureen’s House Cleaning, a business, in 2009, when he was a prisoner in Monroe.

The department failed to respond within five days of the request, as required by law, and then blacked out information from documents it did release, even though none of it was legally exempt from disclosure, the court found.

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Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com

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