Public Records

News & Analysis as of

7th Cir. Confirms Protections for Sealing Parties' Confidential Documents

A common concern for business litigants is protecting legitimately confidential matter contained in documents produced during discovery from dissemination to non-parties. The Supreme Court’s decision in Seattle Times Co. v....more

The Police Have The Right To Remain Silent Too: The Supreme Court Rules On The Disclosure Of Police Reports Under The FOIA

The Connecticut Supreme Court has resolved an intense debate about what law enforcement agencies are required to release with regard to arrest records and associated reports. This decision could affect the ability of school...more

Supreme Court of PA Reaffirms the Broad Scope of the Commonwealth Court’s Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction in Challenges to...

Many Pennsylvania Lawyers only encounter the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in its appellate guise, but the court enjoys an unusual hybrid nature, having both appellate and original jurisdiction. The court’s original...more

Tips for Reacting to an "In-Person" Public Records Request under Florida's Public Records Act

Under Florida's broad Public Records Act ("the PRA"), chapter 119, Florida Statutes, any person - whether an individual or a legal entity - can request access to or copies of public records in the custody of state agencies,...more

The revised PSI Directive – European Commission publishes guidelines on re-use of public sector information

On July 17th, 2014, the European Commission published guidelines for the re-use of public sector information ("PSI"). These guidelines shall support the EU Member States in the transposition of the 2013 revision of the so...more

Court Reporters and Legal Videographers – Beware of Address Searches on the Internet

Filling out an appearance page for a deposition or court transcript takes time and concentration. Everything has to be correct. Getting an attorney’s card is the best way to ensure you have the correct information, but as...more

Sunshine Ordinance Preempted by City Charter Provision Creating Attorney-Client Privilege

The First District Court of Appeal determined that City of San Francisco (“City”) resident Allen Grossman (“Grossman”) was not entitled to documents related to the development of certain San Francisco Ethics Commission...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

Public Records Act Did Not Require School District To Produce Student Academic Growth Over Time Scores That Identified Individual...

The California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles Unified School District v.The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (July 23, 2014) 2014 WL 3615855, --- Cal.App.4th ---, recently held that unredacted academic growth over time...more

The City of Riverside Opens the Online Door for Public Records Access

Transparency in government is a key element of building and maintaining the public’s trust and confidence. One Southern California city is leading by example. As first reported by PublicCEO.com, the City of Riverside recently...more

Public Records Produced Pursuant to OPRA May Not be Redacted for Irrelevancy

The New Jersey Appellate Division has recently confirmed the public’s unfettered right to access government records, regardless of whether certain information produced falls outside a specific request....more

Getting What You Need Under FOIA

As an attorney, you have a duty to do an adequate investigation before asserting any claim, but your investigation can’t intrude on others’ privacy rights. Getting public record information is one way to get what you need...more

State Constitution Now Requires Local Agencies to Follow Brown and Public Records Acts - Whether or Not State Reimburses...

Voters Pass Proposition 42 and Create a Constitutional Amendment - California voters just approved Proposition 42, a state constitutional amendment to eliminate the requirement that the state reimburse costs incurred...more

How A Public Records Act Request Can Be Better Than A Subpoena Duces Tecum

The California counterpart to the Freedom of Information Act (aka FOIA) is the Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250 et seq. In a recent unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal succinctly explains why submitting...more

The Names Of Officers Involved In An On-Duty Shooting Must Be Disclosed Under The Public Records Act, Unless The Party Resisting...

The California Public Records Act ("Act") requires the disclosure of public records, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach, --- P.3d ----, 2014 WL...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Officers Named in Shootings

State Supreme Court Rules that Police Agencies Must Disclose Names of Officers Involved in Shootings Under the California Public Records Act - Overview: The California Supreme Court just ruled that the names of police...more

Rogue CFO III – Background Checks

Perform Background Checks. It seems obvious. Why would a company not want as much information about a candidate for its CFO position that it can legally obtain? But this oversight is common. Too many smaller companies hire...more

Iowa Case Highlights Often Overlooked Risk of Releasing Personal Emails in Public Records Requests

As a frequent advisor to school districts on freedom of information requests, the question I face most often is how a public body can protect a sensitive document from release. ...more

Appellate Court Public Records Act Decision Leaves Questions Unanswered

When the decision in City of San Jose v. Superior Court was announced, many public agency employees and officials were relieved to read that the Court of Appeal agreed with the city: communications on public officials’...more

N.C. Public Records Case Opens up Access to Agency Database

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently decided a landmark case for public records law in the state. In that case, the panel of three appellate judges determined that the Automated Criminal/Infraction System (“ACIS”)...more

Messages Stored on Personal Electronic Devices in Personal Accounts Are Not Public Records

The disagreement between the trial court and 6th District Court of Appeal in Smith v. City of San Jose illuminates a growing concern over how to treat electronic communications that the Public Records Act never contemplated....more

California Case Allowing Denial Of FOIA Request For Public Communications On Private Electronic Devices Instructive For Illinois...

While California and Illinois do not share the same weather, they seem to be similar in at least one aspect: Their court decisions support denial of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for most communications by public...more

Communications Between Public Officials Using Private Cell Phones or Email Accounts Are Not Public Records Requiring Public Access

City of San Jose v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County (Ted Smith, Real Party) - Sixth District Court of Appeal, Action # H039498 (Filed Mar. 27, 2014) 2014 WL 1254821 ____Cal.App.4th____ - The California...more

Communications by Public Officials Using Private Cell Phone or E-Mail Accounts are Not Public Records

The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires the disclosure of “public records” on request, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 27, 2014, H039498) ---...more

Communications From Officials' Private Cell Phones and E-Mail Not Subject to Public Records Act

Public Agencies are Free to Adopt Their Own Policies Regarding Access to Private Communications on Public Issues - A California Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that public agencies are not required to disclose...more

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