‘Adult Entertainers’ Sue Inmate Who Requested Their Public Records

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TACOMA, Wash. from www.courthousenews.com – – More than 100 “adult entertainers” filed a class action against Pierce County, to keep their Adult Entertainer License Applications from being released to an inmate who requested the documents, which contain extensive personal information.

Jane Doe sued the county and its Auditor’s Office on her own behalf and for 107 other women, and also sued the inmate who requested her application through a public records request.

Pierce County requires all adult performers, including strippers and topless dancers, to complete a license application containing their home address, telephone number, age, date of birth, height, race, eye color, hair color, complexion, criminal history, place of birth, location of tattoos, performer name and location of work. The application is considered a public document and subject to public disclosure laws.

The prisoner, Robert Hill, previously requested photographs for all people who applied for an adult entertainer license and asked for the lead Jane Doe plaintiff’s full application, according to the complaint.

“Mr. Hill did not know petitioner’s identity, but made a Public Records Request based on her photograph alone,” the complaint states.

“Petitioner immediately contacted the Auditor’s Office to object to Mr. Hill’s Public Records Request and sought additional information. Petitioner later learned that prior to requesting information about her, Mr. Hill made a Public Records Request for all photographs for all individuals that applied for Adult Entertainment Licenses in Pierce County. The Auditor’s Office provided Mr. Hill with 108 photographs,” according to the complaint.

Doe says that if the auditor releases the applications, “personal and private information will be disclosed that substantially and irreparably damages petitioners in violation of their privacy rights.”

She adds: “Jane Doe has a fear that if her personal and private information is disclosed to Mr. Hill, her right to privacy will be violated and Mr. Hill will use that information for an improper purpose that is not related to a legitimate public concern.”

The class wanted Pierce County enjoined from disclosing their personal information, and Hill enjoined from making any more requests for this information.

The class is represented by Sean Small, with Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson, in Seattle.

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