The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) is committed to openness, transparency, and public access to administrative records as provided by Washington law. OPD processes requests and provides records in compliance with Washington Supreme Court General Rule 31.1, which governs public access to administrative records of the judicial branch of government.
Please note that OPD typically does not possess individual criminal history information or client case files. These records may be available from trial courts, local public defense agencies, or the lawyer who represented you.
How to request records from OPD
What to expect from OPD
The OPD Public Records Officer will respond within five (5) business days of receiving your request. The response will acknowledge your request with one or more of the following:
- Providing the requested records.
- Estimating a later date when some or all of the records will be provided.
- Estimating processing fees, if any.
- Asking for further clarification.
- Explaining why some or all of a record is exempt or prohibited from public disclosure.
In response to a public records request, OPD is only able to provide an existing record that is in the agency’s possession. OPD is not able to:
- Release records that are exempt or prohibited from public disclosure.
- Create a record that does not already exist.
- Perform research or provide legal advice.
Certain administrative records are exempt or prohibited from disclosure by GR 31.1 or other court rules, state statutes, federal statutes, or case law. For records that are not entirely exempt or prohibited from disclosure, OPD will release the record with the non-disclosable information redacted. OPD will provide a written explanation for each redaction.
Appealing a decision
If you disagree with the Public Records Officer’s decision denying disclosure or redacting a record, you may request a review of that decision.
Additional information is available in the OPD Public Records Policy.