Rights under the Public Records Act
According to The Seattle Times An arsonist imprisoned for firebombing the cars of two lawyers is using his remaining 19 years behind bars to dig up information on the judges, lawyers, and corrections officers who helped put him there. But Allan Parmelee's hundreds of requests under the state's Public Records Act have become so numerous that a prosecutor has taken the extraordinary step of asking a judge not only to let his office ignore Parmelee's pending requests, but to bar him from filing any more.
Superior Court Judge Glenna Hall heard arguments in the case, which tests the limits of the disclosure law. The judge gave Parmelee two weeks to submit additional written arguments and said she would rule after that. In 2004, Parmelee was convicted at his second trial of first-degree arson in the firebombing of one vehicle belonging to his ex-wife's divorce lawyer and another belonging to a lawyer who represented his roommate's ex-girlfriend.
His first trial ended in a mistrial because he was found to have personal information about the jurors. While in prison, he has sought records, including addresses, photos, pay schedules, professional histories, and birth dates of thousands of Washington State Patrol troopers and state Department of Corrections staff. Several requests since October seek information about everyone in the prosecutor's office, and, in particular, photos and personnel records of three deputy prosecutors who handled his cases. He's also seeking video or other electronic images of two superior court judges, including the one who sentenced him to 24 years, and two court commissioners. In addition, he has asked the state attorney general's office for records including "working hours, schedules ... (and) photographs in color" of eight current and former assistant attorneys general. The state has won previous orders against disclosing specific information to Parmelee, such as photographs of corrections staff, but for an agency to seek to bar someone from exercising his rights under the Public Records Act is "extraordinary," said Michele Earl-Hubbard, a Seattle open-government lawyer.