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Cases

Bellevue John Does 1-11 v. Bellevue School District

The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a case that involves whether public schools must release the names of teachers who have been accused of sexual misconduct when the allegations are not substantiated. The ACLU maintained that the schools should protect the identity of those teachers, and the Washington Supreme Court agreed with that position, overturning a ruling by the Court of Appeals. Read More »
 

Does v. Washington State Patrol

The ACLU is concerned with public record requests for information pertaining to level I sex offenders who are in compliance with registration requirements, are judged to pose a low risk to the general public, and are not currently subject to broad based community notification. The ACLU asserts that RCW 4.24.550, the sex offender registration statute, sets forth a comprehensive scheme for agency release to the general public of such information, and thus constitutes an "other statute" exempting these records from the PRA. Read More »
 

Indigo Real Estate Services v. Ashlee Rousey

The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting a domestic survivor's right to protect her privacy in court records. The case involved a woman who sought to substitute her initials for her full name on an eviction notice that was later dismissed. The brief asserts that protecting the privacy of a domestic violence survivor outweighs the public interest in access to records. Read More »
 

King County Clerk v. Encarnacion

The ACLU filed amicus briefs in both the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court, supporting tenants who sought to redact their names from the online court index of a dismissed unlawful detainer case.  The tenants tried to replace their names with their initials, after they discovered that landlords refused to consider their applications even though the unlawful detainer case was wrongfully filed. Read More »
 

Level 1 Offender Records

The ACLU is concerned with public record requests for information pertaining to level I sex offenders who are in compliance with registration requirements, are judged to pose a low risk to the general public, and are not currently subject to broad based community notification. The ACLU asserts that RCW 4.24.550, the sex offender registration statute, sets forth a comprehensive scheme for agency release to the general public of such information, and thus constitutes an "other statute" exempting these records from the PRA. Read More »
 

McCarthy v. Barrett

Anti-war activists are pursuing a lawsuit challenging Tacoma Police Department actions that violated their rights at demonstrations at the Port of Tacoma. The suit asserts police conducted unlawful arrests, imposed unconstitutional restrictions, used unreasonable force, and engaged in unauthorized surveillance in order to discourage and prevent peaceful protest. Read More »
 

State of Washington v. Joseph Douglas Neth (Dog Searches without a Warrant)

On January 18, 2006, Joseph Neth was driving from Vancouver to
Goldendale when he was stopped for speeding. The
officer did a records check and discovered an unconfirmed outstanding warrant for
driving with a suspended license. A drug-sniffing dog arrived, sniffed along the
exterior of the car, and "hit" on the passenger door. The officers then
impounded the car. They applied for a search warrant the following day.

Like homes, vehicles are also a constitutionally protected area.
This Court recognized long ago that Washingtonians have a strong privacy
interest in their automobiles, and there is no Washington "automobile
exception" allowing a search without a warrant. Read More »

 

State v. Athan

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that police don't need a warrant or permission from a suspect before collecting genetic evidence from saliva used to seal an envelope. The ACLU had urged the Court to consider the risks to personal privacy from abuses of this practice. Read More »
 

State v. Jorden

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that people do not give up their right to privacy when they check into a hotel, overturning the conviction of a man who was arrested following a police sweep of motel guest registries in Lakewood. The Court's opinion agreed with a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the ACLU, which argued that searching hotel registries without suspicion of a crime violates the privacy guarantees of the Washington Constitution. Read More »