Access / FOIA
Florida Appellate Court Orders Public Release of State Grand Jury Materials from Failed Jeffrey Epstein ProsecutionNina D. Boyajian and Layal L. Bishara
The Court of Appeal held that courts have inherent authority to order the disclosure of grand jury materials, “despite the traditional rule of [grand jury] secrecy.”
South Dakota Supreme Court Unseals Billionaire’s Search Warrant Materials, Again!Jeremy Kutner
A year and a half after the South Dakota Supreme Court unsealed search warrant materials related to billionaire T. Denny Sanford, who was under investigation for possession of child pornography, the court finished the job, unsealing the underlying affidavits that finally told the public what the investigation was all about.
Significant FOIA Win to Gain Access to MLAT Records on Mexico’s Former Secretary of DefenseVictoria Baranetsky, Dara Gray, and Anise McKinney
Beyond denying the use of a categorical exemption, this case is a unique win because it marks the first time a court has ordered a search of documents when a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is at issue.
The Court and the Press in the Murdaugh Murders TrialJay Bender
On balance, the press members who were in Walterboro deserve as high a grade as the individuals who worked very hard to fulfill the provision in the South Carolina Constitution that all courts are public.
Courthouse News Service Continues Its Winning StreakJack Greiner and Darren W. Ford
Courthouse News secured another victory in its efforts to preserve prompt access to electronically filed complaints, obtaining a preliminary injunction against the Franklin County, Ohio Clerk of Courts barring her office from restricting public access to newly filed non-confidential complaints, and directing her to make such complaints available to the public and press.
Tennessee Journalists Prevail in Reverse Public Records Dispute Regarding Naomi Judd’s DeathRobb S. Harvey and Quynh-Anh D. Kibler
The procedural battles were unique, to say the least. Ultimately, the media’s requests were fulfilled, and the Judd family voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit.
DC Court of Appeals Dismisses Police Union’s Fundamental Right to Privacy Claim Over Body Cam FootageSara Benson and Cindy Gierhart
The Court found that the growing consensus regarding a First Amendment right to record police activity in public was incompatible with the alleged fundamental information privacy right asserted by FOP.
Mass Shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs Prompts Two Successful Unsealing BattlesSteve Zansberg
Judge Chittum ruled that in light of recent events the statute clearly required that prior criminal case file be unsealed.
Ohio Senate Candidate Can Run, But Not HideDarren Ford and Jack Greiner
Can a candidate for the United States Senate from Ohio and his soon to be ex-wife file a divorce action in a county in which neither resides and have a compliant judge issue an order prospectively sealing the entire case record? Spoiler alert, the answer is no.
New York Court Upholds First Amendment Right of Access to Jury Selection in Upcoming Trump TrialRobert Balin and Jesse Feitel
Judge Gonzalez appears to be the first New York state court judge to recognizing a presumptive First Amendment right of the public and press to attend jury selection in civil trials.