Legal

Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Legal

Media law question - Washington State Last night, I attended

Customer Question
Media law question - Washington...
Media law question - Washington State
Last night, I attended a candidate's forum where incumbents and challengers for city and county councils spoke.
The event was open to the public.
The event was on County property, in a county meeting room.
The event was hosted by League of Women voters and other agencies.
I'm a reporter.
I was told no recording of the event was allowed by the moderator and they announced the same before the debate began. Our County Exec was there and said he did not know why recording would not be allowed.
Is that legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Legal
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 5 minutes by:
7/15/2015
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Verified
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.
Yes, it is.
While journalists do get some special consideration, they do not have an extra right to record above other persons.
As for the general ban - it is legal because this is not a formal open meeting by city/county government. Yes, the state Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) requires that all meetings of governing bodies of public agencies, including cities, counties, and special purpose districts, be open and accessible to the public. And yes, under AGO 1998 No. 15 )video or sound recordings), a governing body does not have authority to ban video or sound recording of a meeting required to be open under the Act; it may regulate recording only to the extent necessary to preserve order at the meeting and facilitate public attendance.
However, this is not a meeting of governing bodies, but candidates, for a debate. Thus, it is not subject to either of the above. Even if using public space, since these are two candidates and not a public body/agency meeting, they can regulate recording, arguably.
Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago

What about the public's general right to record information of public interest that takes place on public property? How can an organization use government property for a public event and control recording?

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
J,
What about the public's general right to record information of public interest that takes place on public property?
That right is not absolute. It has limitations and exceptions, which are actually well-exemplified above.
How can an organization use government property for a public event and control recording?
They can. Unless it is a government agency, it can control recording.
An analogy would be a Moose Lodge using a county facility for its meeting. The Moose Lodge is private. It simply leased the facility for its meeting. It can control taping.
The same thing here, even though the candidates are running for public office.
Now this may a constitutional question here for the Courts - sure. However, unless this is actually petitioned to the Courts, the above is true.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago

I don't believe the organization leased the government property, they simply used it.

What gives them the authority to supersede public recording policies on public property? They don't own the property and it was an open-to-the public event.

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
J,
Sorry, I do not wish to argue here with you. Keep in mind I did not create any of the legal doctrines. So please do not shoot the messenger.
I don't believe the organization leased the government property, they simply used it.
They could not have used it without prior authorization. So I am sure the county allowed them to use the space.
What gives them the authority to supersede public recording policies on public property? They don't own the property and it was an open-to-the public event.
Under AGO 1998 No. 15, a governing body does not have authority to ban video or sound recording of a meeting required to be open under the Act; it may regulate recording only to the extent necessary to preserve order at the meeting and facilitate public attendance.
However, this AGO does not apply to private individuals using public property with permission, which this is. As such, private individuals may limit recording even if they are using government space for an event, provided that this is PRIVATE event.
Now, the default rule is that anyone can pretty much tape - see here (warning, instant download) and scroll to Who Can Tape a Debate?
However, if the candidates specifically agree in advance not to tape and ask the audience not to either, they CAN do limit this, even if using a public forum.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
PS - my use of the term "private event" may be a little exaggerated, but the rest of my answer stands as is.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago

Hello,

Not to worry, I'm not seeking to argue. I'm seeking clarification and correct information to the extent possible. I'm clear that you didn't write the law, but I just haven't seen a prohibition in written law to explicitly support their policy. They stated as well that they did not know any legal basis, it was just their policy.

When I stated the organization didn't lease, I meant there was no monetary exchange. Seems to me, without that, there would be no rights of ownership of the space. I appreciate the implicit assertion in your reply that permission to use the space confers as many rights as payment for using the space.

I do wonder what defines "Private" event- this event is what I would consider public- free, open to all members of the public (again on public property about public office) and widely advertised as such in media.

The candidates did not agree to *not* be recorded- they were not aware of this, nor was anyone else until we arrived at the event.

So, the candidates did not apparently request privacy, in fact one said he saw no reason not to record, but the Moderator did.

Thanks very much for the LWV debate download- it appears to me they are not permitted to prohibit recording, but may eject me from the room.... which no doubt would have been controversial.

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
J,
Thanks.
When I stated the organization didn't lease, I meant there was no monetary exchange. Seems to me, without that, there would be no rights of ownership of the space. I appreciate the implicit assertion in your reply that permission to use the space confers as many rights as payment for using the space.
RIGHT. Sorry if I was not clear about that at first.
I do wonder what defines "Private" event- this event is what I would consider public- free, open to all members of the public (again on public property about public office) and widely advertised as such in media.
See my follow up: (PS - my use of the term "private event" may be a little exaggerated, but the rest of my answer stands as is.)
But even if this was a public event, again, they CAN limit it if they ask ahead of time. Even if in a county space.
So, the candidates did not apparently request privacy, in fact one said he saw no reason not to record, but the Moderator did.
If the moderator did, then this is "equivalent" - the moderator then had implied agency from the candidates to do so on their behalf.
Thanks very much for the LWV debate download- it appears to me they are not permitted to prohibit recording, but may eject me from the room.... which no doubt would have been controversial.
I think honestly, there may be a court case here on first amendment grounds, or at the very least to clarify the right to record of public debates by candidates using public property. However, whether or not one wants to actually DO this is of course, another matter.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use the REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or rate positively and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
102,932 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

Ely is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

102,932 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,727 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

42,358 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

292 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Need to get a court order to show ownership of a motor home
Need to get a court order to show ownership of a motor home unable to get a title from dealer. Purchased by father who is 92 and the company purchased from is under investigation for fraud. … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
My mother took out a life insurance policy on me when I was
Hi, my mother took out a life insurance policy on me when I was a minor. I'm 27 now, and found out she's refusing to sign the policy over to me despite the fact I'm an adult and her agreeing to over a… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,718 satisfied customers
My car insurance policy was canceled because I was
Hi, my car insurance policy was canceled because I was ill-informed is there something I can do? … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
A life insurance policy which was cancelled in October,
a life insurance policy which was cancelled in October, November, and December, and on auto-pay has still not ceased. what to do? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,403 satisfied customers
I have a leased a car back in November 2015 and the lease is
Hi, I have a leased a car back in November 2015 and the lease is for three years. At the time that I was leasing nobody from the dealership gave me any instruction on what insurance to buy for the car… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,547 satisfied customers
If I change the ownership on investments out of my name and
If I change the ownership on investments out of my name and withdraw funds from my bank account prior to filing for divorce, will that protect those assets from the 50/50 division in CA? … read more
Thelawman2
Thelawman2
Doctoral Degree
1,298 satisfied customers
Is there ever a med pay deductible on a homeowners policy?
Is there ever a med pay deductible on a homeowners policy? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,403 satisfied customers
If public policy bars a plaintiff from recovering on a
If public policy bars a plaintiff from recovering on a contract, would that be an issue on appeal?… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,718 satisfied customers
When - At what point - does a seller lose ownership, or
When - At what point - does a seller lose ownership, or control/responsibility of the product, in a "Sale" "Purchase." … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,403 satisfied customers
I am the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and the
I am the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and the insurance company won't make the check out to me.they keep sending it to the estate of Don Sergott so the bank won't cash it. I called them and … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
A person is listed in public records of having ownership and
a person is listed in public records of having ownership and also has the title and deed another person filed a les pendens on the property and claims she now has ownership also does she … read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Doctoral Degree
17,323 satisfied customers
I purchased a vehicle, but have not taken ownership yet. The
I purchased a vehicle, but have not taken ownership yet. The car had a rattle and the dealership said that they'd fix the rattle and documented they would on the sale. The manager from the dealership … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,727 satisfied customers
I have a question regarding personal property ownership
I have a question regarding personal property ownership after death … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
HO2 and Wind policies in place and premiums paid with Trust
HO2 and Wind policies in place and premiums paid with Trust as named insured. Deed recorded in FL naming three co-partners/equal shares. Insurance carriers require new application for each policy. How… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,727 satisfied customers
Can a policy owner borrow against a life policy without the
can a policy owner borrow against a life policy without the signature of an irrevocable beneficiary … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,727 satisfied customers
If I entered into a verbal ownership agreement with a person
if I entered into a verbal ownership agreement with a person to own 50% of my commercial building, but allowed him to use some of my space for four years, how do I get back the legal right to sell my … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,403 satisfied customers
Can landlords of a home change the pet policy mid-lease?
Can landlords of a home change the pet policy mid-lease? … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
1,003 satisfied customers
If a beneficiary to an insurance policy dies, do the
If a beneficiary to an insurance policy dies, do the proceeds get distributed according to that beneficiary's will or are they distributed according to the Insurance policy such as divided equally amo… read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,193 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x