WSR 14-05-004
[Filed February 6, 2014, 10:01 a.m.]
The Washington attorney general issues formal published opinions in response to requests by the heads of state agencies, state legislators, and county prosecuting attorneys. When it appears that individuals outside the attorney general's office have information or expertise that will assist in the preparation of a particular opinion, a summary of that opinion request will be published in the state register. If you are interested in commenting on a request listed in this volume of the register, you should notify the attorney general's office of your interest by March 12, 2014. This is not the due date by which comments must be received. However, if you do not notify the attorney general's office of your interest in commenting on an opinion request by this date, the opinion may be issued before your comments have been received. You may notify the attorney general's office of your intention to comment by e-mail to or by writing to the Office of the Attorney General, Solicitor General Division, Attention Jeff Even, Deputy Solicitor General, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100. When you notify the office of your intention to comment, you may be provided with a copy of the opinion request in which you are interested, information about the attorney general's opinion process, information on how to submit your comments, and a due date by which your comments must be received to ensure that they are fully considered.
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The attorney general's office seeks public input on the following opinion request(s):
Opinion Docket No. 14-02-01
Request by Andy Billing, State Senator
1. As a matter of law is it necessary to obtain the consent of the law enforcement officer/s who are a party to the intercepted conversation or is the consent of the officer considered obtained by virtue of the officers employment?
2. If a party objects to the interception and recording would it be necessary for the law enforcement officer/s to cease intercepting and recoding? If the officer continued to intercept and record once an objection was made by one of the parties to a private communication would that action therefore subject the officer/s and the agency to criminal and civil liability?
3. Are intercepted conversations and video actions which take place inside a private residence between law enforcement officers and private citizens private or public? What case law establishes what constitutes a private conversation?
4. What legal standards or rules of evidence are in place which would establish the requirements for preservation of intercepted private conversations/video evidence making such evidence available in its original format for a citizen seeking damages under RCW 9.73.030?
5. Does RCW 9.73.080 limit the interception of conversations via a body worn camera by law enforcement officers to only those interactions with citizens where the conversation is "operated simultaneously" with video cameras "mounted in law enforcement vehicles"? An example would be when an officer leaves a vehicle and enters a residence.
Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above material occurred in the copy filed by the Attorney General's Office and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.