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Access / FOIA

May 2024

To Seal or Not to Seal—That is the Question

Mackenzie Arnold

The Fifth Circuit vacated and remanded an order from a district court that unsealed a now-settled case allegedly involving revenge porn because the district court applied the incorrect standard for sealing judicial documents.

May 2024

Ohio Supreme Court Brings Curtain Down On Covid Data

John C. Greiner & Darren W. Ford

In a decision that could have far-reaching implications for Ohioans' right to know, the Court held that the Ohio Department of Health must withhold official cause of death information contained in ODH's Electronic Death Registration System from the public.

May 2024

No Cameras in the Courtroom for Trump Trial Is A Travesty

George Freeman

Why we should be hitting these walls despite a history of thousands of trials being televised without a problem really is inexplicable.

Apr 2024

Texas Federal District Court Grants Access to Previously Sealed Judicial Records in True the Vote Litigation

Zachary Belew

In granting the motion to unseal, the court held that the “public access presumption” outweighed any confidentiality interest True the Vote asserted because True the Vote did not “articulate any specific harm created by the disclosure.”

Apr 2024

Connecticut Supreme Court Reaffirms Public Right to Access Cold Case Records

Stephanie Rice

The Supreme Court of Connecticut issued a ruling of first impression defining the scope of an exception to the state FOIA law allowing police to withhold investigative information “to be used in a prospective law enforcement action” if disclosure would be “prejudicial to such action.”

Apr 2024

D.C. Circuit Reinforces FOIA’s Foreseeable Harm Requirement

Stephen Stich Match

The statute now generally requires agencies to show both that an exemption applies and that disclosure would cause recognized harm. But despite being on the books for eight years, the D.C. Circuit’s ruling is only one of a handful to grapple with the requirement.

Apr 2024

Investigative Reporter Wins Access to California Official’s Calendar Entries

Steve Zansberg

On March 5, Judge Chang issued a Final Ruling, in a case under California’s Public Records Act, granting a Writ of Mandate that commands Governor Gavin Newsom to release the calendar entries of all meetings between his Cabinet Secretary and any representative of Pacific Gas & Electric in May 2023.

Jan 2024

FOIA Case for Records Could Mean Mexican Journalist Finally Wins Asylum in U.S.

Adam A. Marshall and Chuck Tobin

A federal FOIA case could be the key to a successful resolution of a Mexican journalist’s and his son’s decades-long fight for permanent U.S. asylum after fleeing their home country.

Jan 2024

Virginia Media Win Access to Report on School Shooting

David B. Lacy and Harley J. McClellan

The Circuit Court held that the Virginia Freedom of Information Act required disclosure of a school board’s investigation report into a graduation shooting even though a law firm conducted the investigation and prepared the report.

Jan 2024

Ohio Supreme Court Finds Amusement Park’s Private Police Force Is Subject to Public Records Law

Ryan W. Goellner

The television stations’ requests first required analysis of a novel issue under Ohio law: whether a private police department created pursuant to a city ordinance and by agreement between the amusement park and the city was subject to Ohio’s Public Records Act.