2020 Brings a Rise in Public Record Lawsuits
From the pandemic to civil-unrest, the chaos of 2020 has led to an increase in public record lawsuits.
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Los Angeles Times asks court to order disclosure of sexual misconduct records in Los Angeles D.A.'s office
The Los Angeles Times has asked a judge to order the disclosure of records pertaining to sexual harassment and misconduct in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, claiming the county is obstructing the release of newsworthy information before the November elections.
The county has been delaying access to records related to sexual harassment or misconduct despite recently admitting it must disclose well-founded complaints of a substantial nature, the petition says. It also holds that the county has failed to release an anonymized index of incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct it already agreed to produce in discovery nearly a year ago.
Read More | Los Angeles Times
Three business groups, including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, filed a lawsuit on Oct. 1 in Waukesha County Circuit Court to stop the administration from fulfilling an open records request from media outlets seeking the names of businesses with Covid-19-positive employees. As Covid-19 cases surge unchecked across Wisconsin, the groups argued the release would cause businesses to get blacklisted.
Judge Lloyd Carter issued a five-day stay on the release the same day the lawsuit was filed. On Thursday, [Oct. 8] he extended the stay until the next hearing in the case on Nov. 30.
Read More | Telegraph Herald
A federal Judge has ruled against Connecticut state troopers in their lawsuit challenging part of the state’s police accountability law that allows the public access to complaints made against state police officers.
In a 33-page ruling Tuesday, [Oct. 13] senior district court Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. said the state police union’s claim for an injunction against parts of the police accountability law “would not serve the public interest” and denied their request.
Read More | Stamford Advocate
A state appellate court ruled Friday [Oct. 16] that Attorney General Gurbir Grewal can move forward with his plan to release the names of police officers who have been disciplined for misconduct, handing a victory to both Grewal and the police transparency advocates who say the state should go even further.
The court did declare a stay of five days to let the unions appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court. It was unclear Friday morning [Oct. 16] if they planned to do so.
Read More | Northjersey.com
Do you know how much your agency spends annually managing public record requests?
Gathering a basic understanding of your association’s hard and soft costs related to managing Public Record Requests can provide insight into future needs, allowing you to be proactive with changes.
The Peers in Public Records Newsletter (formerly FOIA News) is a bi-monthly e-newsletter brought to you by GovQA. It is a collection of the latest trends in public record requests and government transparency initiatives, shared stories, informative case studies, and actionable knowledge that will help you calm the chaos and keep your organization compliant. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.