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John Doe G v. Dept. of Corrections, WSSC No. 94203-0

On August 11, 2017 WACDL filed an amicus on the issue of whether evaluations performed for the purpose of seeking a SSOSA are protected health care information.


WSSC granted review on two issues.


Were respondents properly allowed to use pseudonyms when filing for injunctive relief to prevent the disclosure of evaluations used to petition for sentencing pursuant to SSOSA?

Are SSOSA evaluations protected health care information exempted from release under the PRA?

WACDL Amicus

Evaluations prepared for assessing treatment amenability for the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative (SSOSA), an alternative sentencing disposition, are historically rooted in treatment of sex offenders, constitute protected health care information for purposes of the Public Records Act.

Ruling Issued

On February 22, 2018 the WSSC issued a ruling reversing the COA and holding that SSOSA evaluations do not contain health care information because they are forensic examinations done for the purpose of aiding a court in sentencing a sex offender. However, the court acknowledged that there may be situations in which the SSOSA evaluation might be accompanied by documents that may trigger PRA protection. The court also ruled that pseudonymous litigation was improper because the superior court did not comply with the requirements of article 1, section 10 of the WA constitution and General Rule 15 and the five-step framework required by Seattle Times Co. v. Ishikawa, 97 Wn.2d 30 (1982) before allowing the John Does to proceed in pseudonym.

WACDL Amicus Author

Tom Weaver and Amy Miuth

Appellate Author

Benjamin Gould

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