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Access / FOIA

Dec 2022

Mass Shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs Prompts Two Successful Unsealing Battles

Steve Zansberg

Judge Chittum ruled that in light of recent events the statute clearly required that prior criminal case file be unsealed.

Oct 2022

Ohio Senate Candidate Can Run, But Not Hide

Darren 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.

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Oct 2022

New York Court Upholds First Amendment Right of Access to Jury Selection in Upcoming Trump Trial

Robert  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.

Sep 2022

Foreign Emoluments Clause Meets FOIA

Charles D. Tobin and Maxwell S. Mishkin

A D.C. federal judge has issued a groundbreaking Freedom of Information Act ruling in favor of the Washington Post, agreeing that the public has a "strong interest” in learning the names of retired U.S. military personnel who go to work for foreign governments and how much they get paid.

Aug 2022

Florida Federal Court Releases Redacted Warrant Affidavit in Unprecedented Search of Former President Trump’s Florida Residence

Charles D. Tobin and Elizabeth Seidlin-Bernstein

The news organizations argued that, even in the middle of an investigation and before any indictment, a search warrant affidavit is a judicial record to which the presumption of public access attaches.

Aug 2022

Whose Record Is It Anyway? Journal Sentinel Wins Access to Surveillance Video Footage

Julie A. Yedowitz and Michael J. Grygiel

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed a Circuit Court order requiring the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office to disclose surveillance video footage in its possession in response to an open records request filed by the Journal Sentinel.

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Aug 2022

Second Circuit Sua Sponte Shrinks Definition of “Agency Records”

Stephen Stich

The ruling bowls over text and precedent and is a potential disaster for government transparency.

Jun 2022

California Recognizes “Constructive Denial” Doctrine Under Public Records Act

Steven Zansberg

The court’s holding that the reporter was entitled to bring his lawsuit challenging the non-response has far-reaching consequences and has been hailed as a major victory for transparency in California.

May 2022

Northern District of California Dismisses Case Against Facebook and Twitter

Allyson Veile and Maggie Strouse

The decision joins the growing collection of case law rejecting First Amendment claims against social media companies for exercising control over the content that appears on their platforms.

May 2022

California “Public Right to Know” Bill Would Increase Access to Settlement Docs  

Tracy Rane

The bill creates a presumption that no court order may conceal information about a defective product or an environmental hazard that poses a danger to public health or public safety unless the court finds that the public interest in disclosure is clearly outweighed by a specific and substantial need for secrecy.

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