Grays Harbor County Public Record Requests

Please note that wait times for record productions may be longer than normal depending on the nature and volume of the requested records.

If you have questions about a public records request, please call the Public Records Office at 360-964-1654. You will need to leave a voicemail and a staff member will return your call as quickly as we are able to.  Please include the public records request reference number and the best number to return your call.


Public Records Act Requests
If you are requesting public records under the PRA (42.56 RCW), you may submit a request through the


Online Portal
 
When making your request, please be as specific as possible so we can conduct a thorough and accurate search.


Additional Information

For more information, please review Gray Harbor County policy and ordinance regarding the Public Records Act. 
The Public Records Act provides that a number of types of documents and/or parts of documents are exempt from public inspection and copying. See the below links for more information about exemptions.

Public Disclosure Exemptions

Other Exemptions

Court Records

Court records fall under GR 31, 31.1, and 22.  They do not fall under the PRA.  

For copies of District Court records, information to request documents can be found here

If you are requesting Grays Harbor Superior Court documents or records related to Grays Harbor Superior Court proceedings, please contact the Grays Harbor Superior County Clerk here.

Pursuant to GR31.1, for copies of Superior Court Administrative records from the Court or Juvenile Department, the request for records must be sent to the Superior Court Administrator with the request form found here


Auditor Records

Under RCW 65.04.140, if you are wanting copies of recorded documents, you will need to go through the Auditor’s Self Service page to request those records here.
Some recorded documents are also available by accessing the State's digital archive website here.


Fee Schedule

Type of Copies Charge for Copies
Photocopies, printed copies of electronic records when requested, use of County equipment to make copies 15 cents per page
Scanned records, use of County equipment for scanning 10 cents per page
Records uploaded to email, or cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery 5 cents per each 4 electronic files or attachments
Records transmitted in electronic format or for use of County equipment to send records electronically 10 cents per gigabyte
Digital media storage or devices Actual cost
Any container or envelope used to mail copies Actual cost
Postage or delivery charges Actual cost
Copy charges above may be combined to the extent more than one type of charge applies to responsive copies.
Customized service charge: When the request would require the use of IT expertise to prepare data compilations or when such customized access services are not used by the County for other business purposes. Actual cost. The County must notify the requester that it will be doing a customized service and can require a 10 percent deposit.
*If payment is not received by 10 business days of the fee notification by email or 15 business days by regular mail, the records request will be closed


Frequently Asked Questions
 

What is a public record?

A public record is any record containing information relating to the conduct of government business, which is prepared, owned, used or retained by a government entity. This includes, but is not limited to: paper, e-mail, audiotapes, videotapes, and disks (CDs/DVDs). A valid public records request is a request for a specific and identifiable public document. A request for general information is not a valid public records request.

You do not have to identify the records you want with exact precision, but the more information you are able to give us will help us to locate your records quickly and provide them to you in a timely manner. A request for “any and all records” may take much longer to process than a request for specific records. Please contact us to assist you in clarifying your request.

How long will it be before I obtain my records?
We process requests in the order in which they are received as closely as possible. Once the records have been collected, we will notify you of any copying charges. Any records or portion of records that are exempt from disclosure will be withheld or redacted. We will specify the exemption that applies to any documents withheld or redactions made. We may provide you an estimate of time for further response or provide documents in installments. Factors may include, for example, time needed to:

  • Get clarification from you if necessary
  • Search for records. More time may be needed if the request is large or complex.
  • Assemble and review records for exemptions.
  • Provide notice to affected third parties if necessary.
  • Prepare an exemption log if necessary.
  • Perform other essential agency functions, considering agency resources including staff availability.

If we cannot produce all the records at once (particularly for large requests), we will provide records in installments. If the records have an associated per page fee, we may request a deposit up front (not to exceed 10 percent). For security and verification purposes, you may need to pick up the materials in person and present valid identification or have an affidavit notarized before we can release certain records to you.

What happens to my request?
Records requests are received by the County Public Records Office. From there, your request is sent to the appropriate department (s) for a search for records. After a search is conducted, you will be contacted by the Public Records Officer for arrangement of delivery and payment. Juvenile Department records, Grays Harbor Superior Court records, and Grays Harbor District Court are not handled by the County’s Public Records Officers and should be submitted directly to those departments.

What information should I include in my request?
It's helpful to include as much information as you can, such as document titles, specific dates, times, addresses, and case numbers allow County staff to more effectively locate documents pertaining to your request.

Will my request for records be kept confidential?
No, your request becomes a public record and can be requested and/ or viewed by others.

What is third party notification?
If records contain information that may affect others and may be exempt from disclosure, the County may send a notice to those parties informing them of the request prior to providing the records to the requestor.

When is a request considered abandoned?
If a requestor fails to fulfill their obligations to inspect, respond to clarification from by County staff, or make any payment in the allotted time period, the County may close the request and consider it abandoned.

How does the County handle large requests?
Large requests may be handled in installments.

Can I see all County records?
No, Federal, State and/or county law restricts access to some records. The county may withhold restricted records in their entirety, or may "redact" (black out) part of a record depending on the statutory rules.

What about a list of individuals?
If you request a public record that contains a list of individuals, you must submit a Declaration to Release List of Individuals verifying that the list of names will not be used for commercial purposes, which requires the following information:
  • The date of your request.
  • Your contact information.
  • Your signed declaration not to use the information for commercial purposes.

Where can I find Grays Harbor Transit, the Grays Harbor County Housing Authority, or Grays Harbor County Garbage? Aren’t these organizations part of the Grays Harbor County government?
These are just a few of the organizations sometimes associated with being a county department. These entities function separately from county government and most maintain their own websites with useful information. Here is a listing of the websites and telephone numbers.

  Grays Harbor County Transit:
www.GHTransit.com
(360) 632-2770 or 1-800-562-9730

 
  Housing Authority of Grays Harbor:
(360) 532-0570

 
  Grays Harbor E-911:
http://www.gh911.org

 
  Port of Grays Harbor
http://www.portofgraysharbor.com

 
  Grays Harbor Public Utility District
https://www.ghpud.org

 
  LeMay’s (Garbage)
http://www.lemayinc.com

 
If you are unable to use our online portal, you can still submit a request by using our Public Records Request form by email to publicrecords@co.grays-harbor.wa.us, or via US mail to the Public Records Department here:

ATTN: Public Records Department 
100 W. Broadway, Suite 33 
Montesano, WA 98563