By: Brian Matthews, #796769 (BM81)
Song Pick: “Electric Avenue” by Eddie Grant
In something akin to a heroic fable, one prisoner in Washington State is holding DOC accountable to the law.
Brian Matthews (surprise, it’s me) made a public records request to the Washington DOC (WDOC) for a copy of a kite I had previously written. WDOC told me that the kite didn’t exist and refused to give me a copy of it. I politely protested, and told them that I believed it did exist, and that the law required them to hand it over upon request.
In their second response, WDOC again claimed the record didn’t exist, and closed the request on me. Funny enough, a non-prisoner subsequently requested the kite from WDOC and they gave into him right away. After I found out that they produced to someone else the very record they adamantly told me didn’t exist, I sued WDOC.
Right away the Attorney General ran through the gamut of advantage games they play against prisoner-litigators, but their arguments were sooooooooooooo unpersuasive that they didn’t make a very good impression on the judge, and they couldn’t get the case dismissed. So they offered $7,000 to settle the case, and I countered at $67,000. They countered my counter at $9,000 and simultaneously filed a notice of appeal, ostensibly meaning to tie me up in the Court of appeals for a few years. Needless to say, I accepted their very generous offer of $9,000. For one kite.
Government Of the People. By the People. For the People. OBEY THE LAWS! My Lawsuit can be found at Grays Harbor County Superior Court Cause No. 16-2-00539-6.