Georgia

5. Expense reports.

Expense reports have not been exempted from the Act’s disclosure requirements.

D. Information and/or identity of source

The privilege protects the identity of sources and any records that would tend to reveal such sources. See, e.g., In re Paul, 270 Ga. 680, 684 (Ga. 1999) ("[T]he statutory language does not distinguish between the source's identity and information received from that source.").

B. Protection of undercover officers or witnesses

Overview

Georgia

Generally, the desires of the witnesses do not affect whether a proceeding will be closed. See Morris Communications LLC v. Griffin, 279 Ga. 735 (2005). However, the Court of Appeals of Georgia in Lowe v. State, 141 Ga. App. 433, 436-37 (1977), found no abuse of discretion of the trial court in its exclusion of spectators during the testimony of one witness who was in “fear of possible harm” because of testimony to be given.

III. MEETING CATEGORIES -- OPEN OR CLOSED.

Note that depending upon specific circumstances other provisions of the Georgia Code may be applicable and override the Act:

3. Local or municipal.

The Act applies to all entities of local and municipal government. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(1).

C. Procedure for requesting access in civil matters

Overview

Georgia

See II B., above “Procedure for requesting access in criminal cases,” which applies equally to civil proceedings.

12. Sex offender records.

Sex offender records are not exempt from disclosure.  In fact, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation maintains an online sex offender registry.

E. Who enforces the act?

The superior courts of the state have jurisdiction to entertain actions for enforcement of the Act and to assess civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance. O.C.G.A. § 50-17-73(a), (b). These actions may be brought by any person or entity, or by the Attorney General, in his or her discretion. O.C.G.A. § 50-17-73(b).

C. Limitations on use of footage

Overview

Georgia

Generally in the superior and state courts of Georgia, the judge may exercise discretion and require pooled coverage, which would allow only one still photographer, one television camera and attendant, and one radio or tape recorder outlet and attendant to cover the proceeding. U.S.C.R. 22 (c). Audio recordings of the jury foreperson's announcement of the verdict, statements or questions to the judge may be made, though there are some limitations on use of pictures of the jury. U.S.C.R. 22(I).