Not the Plainest Meaning: The Statute of Limitations in Washington State’s Public Records Act


This note regards the Public Records Act (PRA) in Washington. The PRA, similar to records request acts in other states, affords citizens the right to request a copy of government documents. Once a request for documents is made, the PRA gives individuals the right to seek judicial review if the government has given an inadequate response to the request. However, the time frame within which it is allowed to seek such judicial review is unknown. When the government responds by sending documents in a number of installments, the statute of limitations under the PRA is one year. Washington State’s Annotated Code includes a “catch all” statute of limitations for actions not addressed elsewhere. The question still remains about what statute of limitations period applies when an agency produces all requested documents in one installment. The note argues the PRA’s statute of limitations should extend and apply to situations where the government produces documents in a single installment.


statute of limitations, Washington Public Records Act, PRA, installment



John Kreienkamp (Washington University School of Law)



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