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Access / FOIA

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.

Apr 2022

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules to Release Police Disciplinary Records  

CJ Griffin and Brittany Burns

The Court issued two major unanimous decisions ordering the disclosure of records involving law enforcement misconduct and access to settlement agreements that resolve discipline which reshape the landscape for the state’s Open Public Records Act and common law access.

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Apr 2022

The Fight for the Public’s Right to Access Videos of the Landmark Prop 8 Trial Again Moves to the U.S. Supreme Court

Sara A. Fairchild, Thomas R. Burke, and Rochelle L. Wilcox

More than a decade after the landmark trial that found California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional, the proposition’s proponents have now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent Ninth Circuit decision that would finally allow the public to access video recordings of the trial.

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Feb 2022

Court Orders Disclosure of Redacted Briefs in Constitutional Challenge to Substance Use Treatment Law

Jack Greiner and Darren Ford

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently held that a news organization was entitled to redacted copies of briefs filed in appeals raising constitutional challenges to a Kentucky substance use disorder treatment law.

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Dec 2021

Public’s Right of Access to Juror Information Loses More Ground … and What We Can Do About It

Steve Zansberg

A recent spate of high-profile cases, across the country, demonstrate that many judges, in both state and federal courts, are of the view that there is no presumption of public access to the names of seated jurors, not only at the outset of a trial, but even post-verdict.

Dec 2021

Ninth Circuit: Searching a Database Is Not Creation of New Record

Shawn Musgrave

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting (“CIR”) succeeded once again in challenging the government’s withholding of firearms data. But in its amended opinion, the Ninth Circuit cabined its prior holdings somewhat, including as to how to apply the OPEN FOIA Act.

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Dec 2021

National Nonprofit’s Emails Filed Under Seal Are ‘Plainly Judicial Records’ and Must Be Unsealed

Shannon Jankowski

Affirming its well-established precedent on access to judicial records, the Eleventh Circuit recently upheld a district court’s order unsealing internal communications obtained during discovery and filed in connection with a motion for a preliminary injunction.