Alabama governor signs bill restricting access to 911 calls

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | April 28, 2010

Alabama governor Bob Riley signed legislation into law Tuesday that exempts 911 recordings from being released to the public under the state's public-records laws,  and instead requires a court order to compel their disclosure.

Under the new law, in order for a court to order the release of 911 audio tapes, it must find that the public's interest in disclosure outweighs the privacy interest of the person making the call, The Associated Press reported.

The legislation, which was pushed by the Alabama Association of County Commissions, restricts access to recordings, but allows the transcripts of 911 calls to be released for a “reasonable fee.”