Judge Scoville’s ruling joined numerous other state courts in finding that text messages of public employees housed on personal cell phones are not outside the statutory definition of “public records” merely because they were never transferred to any government entity’s servers for storage and retrieval.
North Carolina Court Holds Records in Possession of Third-Party Contractor Subject to Public Records Disclosure RequirementsLauren Russell and Kaitlin Gurney
The court also held that even though requestor, Charlotte television station WBTV, received the records before a final ruling on the merits, it was entitled to recover its attorneys’ fees under North Carolina’s public records law mandating fee awards to claimants who substantially prevail in compelling disclosure of public records.
Washington Post Wins Suit Seeking Disciplinary Records of Former LGBTQ and Community Policing Liaison with History of Excessive ForceMargaret N. Strouse, Maxwell S. Mishkin, and Chuck Tobin
In an important victory for police transparency, DC Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Ross granted the Post’s motion for summary judgment, rejected the District’s arguments for withholding the records under FOIA’s privacy exemption, and ruled that the Post should be awarded its attorney’s fees.
The directive is the first in the nation to expressly prohibit legislators from using so-called “ephemeral messaging” apps when discussing public business.
These records were released as the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in which the court compared the Government’s arguments to “a game of ‘Mad Libs.’”
Sheriff Ordered to Pay Station’s Attorney Fees After Withholding Recordings of Jailhouse Videocalls Which It Already Had ReleasedEric P. Robinson
Judge Toal held that the recordings were public records in possession of a government agency, and thus subject to disclosure under FOIA.
More than a year after a gunman killed 19 students and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a judge has ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to release information about the attack and the law enforcement response.
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.”
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.
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.