In January 2004, King County Sergeant Denny Gulla made an allegedly unlawful stop of a vehicle in Buckley. After reviewing documents from various law enforcement agencies, the Pierce County Prosecutor decided not to charge Gulla with a crime.
On December 12, 2005, David Koenig requested records from the prosecutor’s office concerning the incident. The prosecutor provided some records, but withheld some, claiming that they were work product exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act because they pertained to the decision of whether or not to charge a crime.
Some of the requested records were in the possession of other agencies. Mr. Koenig asked that the agencies coordinate their efforts in providing the records. Mr. Koenig brought suit, alleging that the records were not work product and that the agencies should have coordinated their efforts in supplying the requested records. The trial court disagreed and Mr. Koenig appealed.
The Court of Appeals held that, based on the lead opinion in Limstrom v. Ladenburg, 136 Wn.2d 595, 963 P.2d 869 (1998), the civil work product rule applied and the requested documents constituted work product. The Court also held that the agencies did not have an obligation to coordinate a response to requests for documents under the Public Records Act.