Georgia

2. Is software and/or file metadata public?

Because the Act by its terms applies to “computer based or generated information,” software metadata and file metadata are subject to the Act’s requirements.  The Act provides that, upon request, records maintained by computer shall be made available where practicable by electronic means.  O.C.G.A. 50-18-70(g).

6. Time limit for filing suit.

The Act requires that a suit seeking to invalidate an official agency action be filed within 90 days from the contested action. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(b). Suits contesting a zoning decision of a local governing authority made during a closed meeting in violation of the Act must be commenced within the time allowed by law for appeal of such zoning decision. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(b). The Act contains no time limit for commencing suits seeking to make minutes or agendas from past meetings available to the public.

XI. Cameras and other technology in the courtroom

Overview

Georgia

The Supreme Court of Georgia has made clear that camera access is an essential component of Georgia’s constitutional commitment to an open court system. See, e.g., Morris Communications, LLC v. Griffin, 279 Ga. 735, 736 (2005) (reversing trial court order that denied camera access to criminal trial and stating that: “a trial court should bear in mind this State’s policy favoring open judicial proceedings.”).

(2). Are minutes a public record?

The minutes of special or emergency meetings are public records, as are those of regular meetings. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e)(2).

1. Who may sue?

A suit to enforce compliance with the Act may be brought in superior court "by any person, firm, corporation, or other entity." O.C.G.A. § 50-18-73(a). In addition, the Attorney General may bring civil or criminal actions to enforce compliance with the Act. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-73(a).

E. Confidential and/or non-confidential information

In addition to protecting confidential sources and information, the privilege also protects against the compelled disclosure of non-confidential sources and information. See, e.g., In re Paul, 270 Ga. 680, 684 (Ga. 1999) ("Unlike some states, the Georgia statute does not limit the privilege solely to confidential sources, but protects against the disclosure of any information obtained or prepared.").

H. Coroners reports.

The Act does not exempt coroners' reports and has been held to be applicable to the coroner's office. Kilgore v. R. W. Page Corp., 259 Ga. 556, 385 S.E.2d 406 (1989). However, O.C.G.A. § 45-16-27 specifically forbids the release of any autopsy photographs or images by hospitals without written permission of the next of kin. O.C.G.A. § 45-16-27(d).

C. Obtaining transcripts

Overview

Georgia

Apply for a transcript from the clerk in the court in which the proceeding was held.

F. Recording/broadcast of meetings.

The Act expressly permits visual, sound, and recordings of both the visual and sound content of open meetings. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(c).