Fortgang v. Woodland Park Zoo (Majority)Annotate this Case
Petitioner Alyne Fortgang filed a request for documents concerning the elephants at the Woodland Park Zoo (Zoo). She filed a request under the Public Records Act (PRA), which required every government "agency" to make records "available for [public] inspection and copying." Petitioner filed her request with the Woodland Park Zoo Society (WPZS), the private nonprofit that runs the Zoo. WPZS argued that the PRA did not apply to it as a private entity. The Court of Appeals interpreted the statutory word "agency" to include private entities when they act as the functional equivalent of government agencies. Under the Telford analysis, the appellate court concluded WPZS was not the functional equivalent of a government agency, and did not have to produce the records. The Supreme Court agreed and affirmed the Court of Appeals.