Georgia

1. Does the law provide expedited procedure for reviewing request to attend upcoming meetings?

The Act does not specifically require courts to give priority to litigation to enforce the Act but expedited treatment may be sought and is often afforded depending upon the facts of the particular case.

e. Social media and online discussion boards.

No statute or reported case specifically addresses meetings held via social media or online discussion board. However, the Georgia Supreme Court has consistently held that the Act "must be broadly construed to effect its purpose of protecting the public and individuals for closed-door meetings." See, e.g., Kilgore v. R.W. Page Corp., 261 Ga. 410, 405 S.E.2d 655 (1991). Additionally, the Georgia Court of Appeals has indicated that a "meeting" may be conducted "by written, telephonic, electronic, wireless, or other virtual means. Claxton Enter. v.

D. Post-trial proceedings

Overview

Georgia

In Georgia, all stages of criminal trials are presumed to be public, including post-trial proceedings. In R.W. Page Corp. v. Lumpkin, 249 Ga. 576, 578-79 (1982), the Supreme Court of Georgia held that: “Although the sixth amendment to our federal constitution (Code Ann. § 1-806) affords the accused a right to a public trial, our state constitution point-blankly states that criminal trials shall be public. Const. of Ga. 1976, art. I, § 1, (Code Ann. § 2-111).

(2). Do subsequent steps need to be in writing?

The Act does not specifically address the proper method for memorializing subsequent steps in the request process. However, it is advisable to commit further correspondence to writing in order to avoid possible disputes regarding the nature or timing of the request.

E. Attorney and judicial discipline

Overview

Georgia

The public has a right of access to information about attorneys who are members of the State Bar of Georgia. The Georgia Bar website: http://www.gabar.org/public_information/, allows the public to see an attorney’s public disciplinary record online, if such disciplinary record exists. An attorney’s public disciplinary history is only available on the website as far back as January 1995.

5. Service of police or other administrative subpoenas

Georgia law does not recognize subpoenas for police and fire investigations in the absence of a grand jury or other judicial body. Certain administrative bodies can serve subpoenas, and their service rules generally conform to Georgia law referenced above.

1. Do text messages and/or instant messages constitute a record?

Yes, the Act expressly applies to “computer based or generated information.”

C. Court review of administrative decision.

(This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

b. Notice requirements.

The Act requires an agency to give "due notice" of any meeting to be held at a time or place other than at the time and place prescribed for regular meetings. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(d). Due notice still requires posting at least 24 hours in advance at the regular meeting place. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(d). See, e.g., Slaughter v. Brown, 269 Ga. App. 211, 603 S.E.2d 706 (2004) (school board failed to comply with notice provisions when it held special meeting). In addition, oral notification must be given to the newspaper that serves as the legal organ for the county. O.C.G.A.

C. Trials

Overview

Georgia

The press and public’s constitutional right of access to judicial proceedings is codified in U.S.C.R. 22 which states: “Unless otherwise provided by rule of the Supreme Court or otherwise ordered by the assigned judge after appropriate hearing (conducted after notice to all parties and counsel of record) and findings, representatives of the print and electronic public media may be present at and unobtrusively make written notes and sketches pertaining to any judicial proceeding in the superior courts.”