Wash. Fed'n of State Emps. v. State

Decision Date13 June 2022
Docket Number83342-1-I
Parties WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL, 28; et al. Respondents, v. STATE of Washington ; et. al. Respondents, Freedom Foundation, Appellant.
CourtWashington Court of Appeals

Sydney Paige Phillips, Attorney at Law, P.O. Box 552, Olympia, WA, 98507-0552, for Appellant.

Sydney Paige Phillips, Attorney at Law, P.O. Box 552, Olympia, WA, 98507-0552, Robert Alan Bouvatte Jr., Robert A. Bouvatte, PLLC, P.O. Box 14185, Tumwater, WA, 98511-4185, for Petitioner.

James Shawn Horlacher, Darcey Elliott, Attorney General's Office, P.O. Box 40145, Olympia, WA, 98504-0145, Kristina Marie Detwiler, Angelo Camacho Cruz, Robblee Detwiler PLLP, 2101 4th Ave. Ste. 1000, Seattle, WA, 98121-2346, John Alfred Manix, Stevens Clay & Manix PS, Jason D, Brown, Stevens Clay, PS, 421 W Riverside Ave. Ste. 1575, Spokane, WA, 99201-0409, Salvatore J. Faggiano, Ofc, of City Attorney, 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA, 99201-3333, Greg Alan Rubstello, Attorney at Law, 901 5th Ave. Ste. 3500, Seattle, WA, 98164-2059, Katherine Hambley, Attorney at Law, 95 Edgeworth Ave., Portland, ME, 04103-2413, Adrian Urquhart Winder, Thomas Fitzgerald Ahearne, Joseph Anthony Brogan, Foster Garvey PC, 1111 3rd Ave. Ste. 3000, Seattle, WA, 98101-3296, Jeffrey Ganson, Haggard & Ganson LLP, 19125 N Creek Pkwy. Ste. 120, Bothell, WA, 98011-8000, Grant Kevin Weed, Emily Guildner, Nikki Christine Thompson, Thompson, Guildner & Associates, Inc. P., 110 Cedar Ave. Apt. 102, Snohomish, WA, 98290-2959, Bio F. Park, Attorney at Law, 9611 Se 36th St., Mercer Island, WA, 98040-3732, Robert Blaine Binger, Attorney at Law, 1115 W Broadway Ave., Spokane, WA, 99260-2051, Jay Schulkin, Porter Foster Rorick LLP, 601 Union St. Ste. 800, Seattle, WA, 98101-4027, Kendra Rosenberg Comeau, City of Auburn, 25 W Main St., Auburn, WA, 98001-4998, Harriet Kay Strasberg, Attorney at Law, 203 4th Ave. E Ste. 520, Olympia, WA, 98501-1190, Jacquelyn Moore Aufderheide, Susan Landa Rogers, Christine M. Palmer, Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office, 614 Division St., Port Orchard, WA, 98366, Sarah E. Spierling Mack, Everett Public Schools, 3900 Broadway, Everett, WA, 98201-5033, Jeffrey Scott Myers, Law Lyman Daniel Kamerrer et al, P.O. Box 11880, 2674 R W Johnson Blvd. Swm Olympia, WA, 98508-1880, Robert Franklin Noe, Yakima School District - Chief Legal Counsel, 104 N 4th Ave., Yakima, WA, 98902-2636, John James White, Kevin Blair Hansen, Peterson Russell Kelly Livengood, PLLC, 10900 Ne 4th St. Ste. 1850, Bellevue, WA, 98004-8341, Paul Reginald ByrneII, Bothell City Attorney's Office, 18415 101st Ave. Ne, Bothell, WA, 98011-3455, Edward Earl Younglove III, Younglove & Coker, PLLC, P.O. Box 7846, 1800 Cooper Point Rd. Sw # 16, Olympia, WA, 98507-7846, Leigh Ann Collings Tift, Seattle Housing Authority, 190 Queen Anne Ave. N Ste. 500, Seattle, WA, 98109-4975, Thomas A. Leahy, Reid McCarthy Ballew & Leahy LLP, 100 W Harrison St. Ste. N300, Seattle, WA, 98119-4143, James Edward Niemer, Sound Transit, 401 S Jackson St., Seattle, WA, 98104-2826, Kathleen Phair Barnard, Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt LLP, 18 W Mercer St. Ste. 400, Seattle, WA, 98119-3971, Amanda Dawn Daylong, Amber L. Pearce, Floyd, Pflueger & Ringer, P.S., 200 W Thomas St. Ste. 500, Seattle, WA, 98119-4296, Steven Ross Johnson, Attorney at Law, 609 8th St., Hoquiam, WA, 98550-3522, Laura Debacker McAloon, Kendel L. Froese, McAloon Law PLLC, 421 W Riverside Ave. Ste. 515, Spokane, WA, 99201-0428, Craig L. Miller, Craig L. Miller P.S., 122 Applegate Ln, Sequim, WA, 98382-3011, Angel D. Rains, Grays Harbor PUD, P.O. Box 480, Aberdeen, WA, 98520-0109, Kevin Maitland Raymond, City of Kirkland, 123 5th Ave., Kirkland, WA, 98033-6189, Hillary J. Evans, Kenyon Disend, Alexandra Kenyon, Attorney at Law, 11 Front St. S, Issaquah, WA, 98027-3820, Ryan C. Espegard, Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP, 520 Pike St. Ste. 2350, Seattle, WA, 98101-4006, Andrew Logerwell, Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 345 W. Main Street, Second Floor, Chehalis, WA, 98532-1900, Jennifer Diana Loynd, Pierce County Prosecutors Office, Civil, 955 Tacoma Ave. S Ste. 301, Tacoma, WA, 98402-2160, Alex Jacob Witenberg, Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA, 98201-4046, Evelyn Fielding Lopez, Washington Attorney General's Office, David Christopher Moon, Attorney at Law, P.O. Box 40123, Olympia, WA, 98504-0123, Sara J. Di Vittorio, Snohomish County PUD, P.O. Box 1107, Everett, WA, 98206-1107, Gregory Francis Amann, Jennifer Combs, City of Fife, 5411 23rd St. E, Fife, WA, 98424-2061, Richard Allen Davis III, Chmelik, Sitkin & Davis, 1500 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA, 98225-4542, Bob C. Sterbank, Attorney at Law, P.O. Box 987, Snoqualmie, WA, 98065-0987, Anna Astrakhan, Attorney at Law, Snoqualmie City Hall, 38624 Se River St., Snoqualmie, WA, 98065, Duncan K. Fobes, Charles Philip Edwar Leitch, John T. Zilavy, Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch, Inc., 1000 2nd Ave. Flr. 30, Seattle, WA, 98104-1093, John Armen Safarli, Attorney at Law, 18825 Ne 202nd St., Woodinville, WA, 98077-6622, Rachel Bender Turpin, Madrona Law Group PLLC, 14205 Se 36th St. Ste. 100, Bellevue, WA, 98006-1553, M Katie Yount, Chelan County PUD, 327 N Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA, 98801-2011, June Riley, Walla Walla City Attorney, 15 N 3rd Ave., Walla Walla, WA, 99362-1859, William E. Bloor, Christopher C. Cowgill, City of Port Angeles, 321 E 5th St., Port Angeles, WA, 98362-3206, Loren Robert Dunn, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., Rachel Kathleen Roberts, Attorney at Law, 600 University St. Ste. 1601, Seattle, WA, 98101-4124, Michelle K. Fossum, Sayre, Sayre & Fossum, PS, 201 W North River Dr. Ste. 460, Spokane, WA, 99201-2262, Carolyn U. Boies, Jessica Lynn Zornes Leiser, Seattle City Attorney's Office, 701 5th Ave. Ste. 2050, Seattle, WA, 98104-7095, Allen Unzelman, Vander Stoep, Remund, Blinks & Jones, P.O. Box 867, 345 Nw Pacific Ave., Chehalis, WA, 98532-0867, Ronald Emerson Farley, Cogdill, Nichols & Farley, 1312 N. Monroe St. Suite 268, Spokane, WA, 99201, Joel Robert Paisner, Ascent Law Partners LLP, 1191 2nd Ave. Ste. 1800, Mari K. Isaacson, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, John Martin Gerberding, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, 1191 2nd Ave. Ste. 1700, Seattle, WA, 98101-2996, Mitchell P. Delabarre, Grant County PUD, P.O. Box 878, Ephrata, WA, 98823-0878, Norma J. Tillotson, Grays Harbor County Prosecutor's Office, 102 W Broadway Ave. Rm. 102, Montesano, WA, 98563-3621, Ryan S. Neale, Marsh Mundorf Pratt Sullivan & McKenzie, 4220 132nd St. Se Ste. 201, Mill Creek, WA, 98012-8994, Andrea J. Marquez, City of Sumner, 1104 Maple St. Ste. 242, Sumner, WA, 98390-1407, Terry Michael Weiner, City of Ellensburg, 501 N Anderson St., Ellensburg, WA, 98926-3147, Patricia L. Taraday, Attorney at Law, Angela Marie Tinker, Angela Tinker, 600 Stewart St. Ste. 400, Seattle, WA, 98101-1217, James J. McNamara, Growth Management Hearings Board, 1111 Israel Rd. Sw #301, Tumwater, WA, 98512, Cheryl A. Comer, City of Tacoma, 747 Market St. Rm. 1120, Tacoma, WA, 98402-3726, Richard L. Hughes, Law Office of Richard L. Hughes PLLC, 1001 Cooper Point Road Sw, Ste. 140-158, Olympia, WA, 98502-4926, for Respondents.

PUBLISHED OPINION

Andrus, A.C.J. ¶1 The Freedom Foundation (Foundation) appeals the entry of a permanent injunction precluding the State of Washington from disclosing the names, birthdates, work addresses, and work emails of public employees who have certified to their union or to the State that they or a family member are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. The Foundation contends no public employee has a constitutional right to prevent the State from disclosing this information under the Public Records Act (PRA).1

¶2 We reject the Foundation's argument and conclude that public employees who are survivors, or whose immediate family members are survivors, of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment have a substantive due process right to personal security and bodily integrity. This constitutional right precludes the State from disclosing their name and physical work location or work contact information when doing so presents a substantial likelihood that the employee's physical safety or the safety of that employee's family member would be in danger.

¶3 Under RCW 42.56.540, however, injunctive relief is only appropriate when an individual can establish substantial and irreparable harm from the disclosure of protected information. The record before the trial court is insufficient to establish an individualized risk of bodily harm to the over 1,000 employees on whose behalf the Unions sought injunctive relief. Accordingly, we reverse the order granting summary judgment to the Unions, reverse the permanent injunction, and remand to the trial court to determine the most appropriate method of conducting this individualized risk assessment as required by RCW 42.56.540.

FACTS

¶4 The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote "individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited, accountable government." One focus of the Foundation's mission is to inform public employees of their right to opt out of union membership. To identify, and directly contact, members of its public employee audience, the Foundation sent several PRA requests to hundreds of public entities seeking, among other things, employees’ full name, full birthdate, job title, work email address, employer, and duty station address.

¶5 On December 18, 2019, several labor organizations2 (the Unions) filed a complaint against multiple state agencies, universities, and community colleges, asserting that the release of the personal information of survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault would violate their constitutional rights, making the requested information exempt under RCW 42.56.070(1). That same day, the Unions obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order,...

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    ...but also those deriving from the state or federal constitutions. Wash. Fed'n of State Emps., Council 28 v. State, 22 Wn.App. 2d 392, 511 P.3d 119 (2022), review granted, 200 Wn.2d 1012, 519 P.3d 585 (2022); see also White v. Clark County, 188 Wn.App. 622, 354 P.3d 38 (2015). Although our Su......
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    ...summary judgment, declaratory relief, and permanent injunction. Wash. Fed'n of State Emps., Council 28 v. State, 22 Wn.App. 2d 392, 403, 511 P.3d 119 (2022) (WFSE). The Foundation argued primarily that no constitutional right existed to protect the requested information and that the Unions ......

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