Public Access Laws

News & Analysis as of

Disability Access – Application of Disabled Persons Act and Unruh Act – Service Animals

Seth Flowers, et al. v. Brinda Prasad, et al. - California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 17, 2015) - The Unruh Civil Rights Act and Disabled Persons Act vary in their provisions. The Court of...more

PAC Upholds Board Action: No OMA Violation for Private Emails

In June, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion holding that board members of a school district did not violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA) when partaking in intermittent private email exchanges...more

Website Regulations Update: Public Accommodations Proposed Regs Further Delayed BUT State and Local Proposed Rules Due Out. . ....

According to the Spring 2015 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will issue no proposed regulations for public accommodations websites until least April 2016 — nearly...more

2014 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2015 Forecast

At first it seemed 2014 had been a relatively slow year for eminent domain cases. But looking back, there was more activity than we initially recalled. There were few decisions that provided any dramatic shift in the...more

Can Hotels Legally Block Wi-Fi Hot Spots? The FCC Says No, and Fines a Hotel $600,000 For Doing It.

In a public notice issued this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned hotels, convention centers and other businesses that it is illegal to willfully block or interfere with their guests’ Wi-Fi hot spots...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Coastal Act Decision with Takings Implications

In September 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a surprising decision, finding that even if an applicant maintains that it is accepting imposed permit conditions “under protest” and expressly...more

California Supreme Court to Review Denial of Homeowner’s Private Beach Access

In the case of Lynch v. California Coastal Commission (D064120; Cal.App.4th 658; San Diego Superior Court; 37-2011-00058666-CU-WM-NC), the California Supreme Court has granted a petition for review of the decision by the...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - California drought-relief bill passes House: SFGate.com - Dec 9: On December 9, the House approved a bill designed to give state and federal agencies authority to move more water in...more

Coastal Commission’s Public Access Easement Found to Be A Taking

In a published decision, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District rejected the California Coastal Commission’s (“Commission”) finding that there is no rational nexus or rough proportionality between...more

Beach Access Case Nowhere Near Done

On Sept. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 968, legislation aimed at securing a public access easement or right-of-way at Martins Beach in San Mateo County. Located south of Half Moon Bay, Martins Beach is an...more

Government Contracting and Procurement Update: Public Access to Trade Secrets in Proposals and Bid Documents in Maine

Those doing business with the State of Maine need to know their way around public records laws. What is the risk that sensitive business information included within a bid response to a request for proposal (RFP) may become...more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zone Law

A local government can create a 35-foot buffer zone to restrict speech on a public street only if it has first made a serious effort to address the issue in other ways. Originally published on the IMLA Appellate...more

New Clinical Trial Rules in the EU: A First Overview

Last week, Regulation (EU) No 536/2014 on clinical trials on medicinal products for human use was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation establishes a single, EU-wide harmonised set of rules...more

Massachusetts Land Trusts Breath a Collective Sigh of Relief: The SJC Rules That There Is No Requirement to Promote Public Access...

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today ruled that land trusts or other charities which own and preserve conservation land may take advantage of a state tax exemption on such land even if they do not affirmatively...more

Proposed OSHA Rules Call for Electronic Filing of Employee Injury Records and Provide Public Access to Records

Last Friday, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration published proposed regulations overhauling employer obligations with respect to employee workplace injury and illness reporting. The new rules do not make...more

Public Access Counselor Holds That Straw Poll Violates The Open Meetings Act

Recently, the Illinois Public Access Counselor rendered a binding opinion, holding that a committee violated the Open Meetings Act when it chose to recommend an individual to fill a vacancy on the committee and made that...more

Balancing The Burdens Of Transparency In The Illinois Freedom Of Information Act

A recent Chicago Tribune editorial, “The burden of transparency” asks a provocative question: does the unduly burdensome exemption in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allow an unfair loophole for public bodies...more

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