Hauge on Gun Club Attorney’s Public Records Request

At Monday’s Kitsap County Commissioners Meeting, Regina Taylor, attorney for the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club brought before the board a problem she’d had that day getting some materials from the county GIS department, which makes maps.

Taylor said she wanted topographical maps in connection with a lawsuit filed by Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge against the gun club earlier this month. The suit alleges code violations and unsafe operations at the club, in Central Kitsap.

Taylor said a GIS staff member at first told her the documents she requested could be provided. The staff member said an estimate of the cost and the time it would take to produce the maps would be forthcoming. When Taylor didn’t hear back, she called the department and was told her request would have to go through Hauge’s office.

The reason, Hauge said, Tuesday, is that there are rules governing lawsuits that require any person or entity that is party to the suit to make a “discovery” request for documents related to the case. The purpose is so that there is a record of what information was traded, on what date and in what fashion, Haugue Hauge said.

In this case, discovery requests go through the county prosecutor’s office.

He assured that Taylor would be able to get the documents through the correct channels.

The rule does not pertain to public requests from individuals or groups not party to the suit, or to the media, Hauge said.

Taylor was not immediately available for comment.

20 thoughts on “Hauge on Gun Club Attorney’s Public Records Request

  1. Let me see if I understand this. If I put in a Request for Information (RFI) to DCD for a copy of a map, then I could get it without going through Hauge. But if I have a lawsuit against the county, or the county has one against me, then I have to have Hauge look at it so he will know what I am studing?

    I thought discovery was when a lawyer questioned somewho who could have an attorney present. Boy, I sure am confused.

  2. Maybe Ms. Taylor has not had a lot of legal experience with suits. Even though I am not an attorney, I’ve been involved in a few legal matters, and soon learned that the courts need accurate records of all actions.
    This is actually to protect everyone’s constitutional rights.

  3. Okay, these are “Public Records” people. The key word is public. Why is the GIS department divulging to the Prosecutor’s office who is asking for public records? I think all this can get the county in trouble. Does Kitsap County honestly need these kinds of headaches right now? And as for an accurate accounting of the records anyone who has ever requested pubic records can tell you there are form to fill out. There is a record. This is stonewalling and it is shameful.

  4. Discovery is a process in a law suit. Since this is a form of a law suit (an injunction), and can be executed ex parte, and the fact of public record, the process of discovery is in a sense irrelevant.

    Linda G, Regardless of legal experience, public records is public records PERIOD. So, the general public can get whatever they want, but an accused party is stonewalled???? WOW! The GIS can be trial exhibits, from either side, and not necessarily obtained via discovery. In law suits, trial exhibits are disclosed, and typically requested via discovery in a general request for “all documents relating to”.

    Public records should be available to the attorney regardless. She has been specifically discriminated against!

    I didn’t think that a public records office needed Hauge approval to provide. This County is behaving in an offensive manner, but I’m not surprised. Only suffering additional bewilderment…

  5. Boy am I confused. There is a discovery process where both sides in a lawsuit must disclos what information they are going to be using before the trial. Here when asking for a public document the prosecutor must OK the request? And the Department of Community Development does not even return a phone call after promising to do so. Sounds like diry pool to me.

  6. Ms. Taylor, Mr. Carter and his Wife are all Citizens and thereby part of the “public”.
    They do not give up their rights as such because they are being sued by the county.
    Mr. Hauge is trying to throw his weight around, so we all know who is in charge.
    Mr. Hauge should not be notified when a records request is made to GIS. The
    GIS department does not fall under his jurisdiction, so who picked up the phone
    and decided to inform the Prosecuting Attorney about a private citizen’s records
    request. This seems highly inappropriate and I wonder about the legal ramifications
    involved with such behavior. If I, as a private citizen, go to the GIS office and ask for the
    same document will Mr. Hauge also be notified? What is going on here? The more things
    come out about Mr. Hauge and how he runs things the more worried I am for the people of
    Kitsap County.

  7. jack stanfill – As I understand it, it’s not so Hauge specifically can look at it. It’s so there is a record of what documents have been obtained on both sides. The request in this case goes through the prosecutor’s office.

    Chris Henry, reporter

  8. Chris,
    there is a public record generated when the request is made for a record. This is ridiculous! She is asking for a map of the county. That is not a Prosecutor secret is it? This is about stonewalling and getting his ducks in a row for a TRO later this week. By the way I see my first entry is still pending, curious since there are at least five after mine and one of those is mine as well.

  9. Chris, the record of what documents have been obtained, as part of discovery are not relevant at this point. You can and should be able to get docs at any time from any public source. As Michele R points out, and I confirm… What can happen is that any obtained document may need to be “authenticated”… typically with a stamp from the issuing office, provided its public.

    There is NO LEGAL PRECEDENT to object to providing an doc…

    Chris, there is a form to fill out to get the documents in the first place… Consider that a record???? ALl the rest of us do. Get on board with what is happening here dude!

  10. Public records are public records. Russ Hauge appears to be maliciously hampering KRRC’s ability to prepare its case. This is consistent with my personal experience sitting as a juror on a trial several years ago in Kitsap County. It is truly ominous when an elected official believes that he doesn’t have to abide by the same laws that the rest of the citizens must abide by…the department of community development is also being underhanded in the way it has not followed its normal protocal for handling issues.

    I never thought this kind of thing happened in America, but now I am seeing it first hand.

  11. Ed,
    well said. I am so disappointed in the Prosecutor’s office and DCD. It is a sad day when citizens who elected these officials have to use the court system to protect themselves from them! How much will all this end up costing the county? Traffic court isn’t going to cover this one Mr Hauge. Hasn’t the county had to pay out enough in court fees and fines for not turning over public records? Mr. Hauge is no longer putting the people of his county first, but rather his own agenda.

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