Georgia

E. Financial data of public bodies.

The Act does not exempt meetings concerning agency financial data. However, the Act does exempt meetings of the board of trustees or the investment committees of any public retirement system created under Title 47 when the board or committee is discussing matters pertaining to investment securities trading or portfolio positions. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(8).

2. Legislative bodies.

The Act applies to all state and local "agencies" including all departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, commissions and authorities. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(1). The Act also applies to any other entity serving a governmental purpose. See, e.g., Jersawitz v. Fortson., 213 Ga. App. 796, 446 S.E.2d 206 (1994) (Olympic Task Force Selection Committee subject to Act). The Act has been held not to apply to the Georgia General Assembly or its committees. See Coggin v. Davey, 233 Ga. 407, 211 S.E.2d 708 (1975).

D. Post-trial proceedings

Overview

Georgia

The press and public’s constitutional right of access to judicial proceedings is codified in U.S.C.R.

A. Burden, standard of proof

Once a member of the news media demonstrates that he or she is covered under the privilege, the challenged subpoena should be quashed unless the subpoenaing party can demonstrate either that the privilege has been waived or that the information sought (1) is material and relevant; (2) cannot be reasonably obtained by alternative means; and (3) is necessary to the proper preparation or presentation of the case of a party seeking the information, document, or item. O.C.G.A. § 24-9-30.

1. Appraisals.

Real estate appraisals made for or by the state or a local agency relative to the acquisition of real property are exempt from disclosure until such time as the property has been acquired or the proposed transaction terminated or abandoned  O.C.G.A. 50-18-72(a)(6)(A).

II. EXEMPTIONS AND OTHER LEGAL LIMITATIONS

Exemptions are clearly the exception under Georgia's statute. "The underlying implication" of the Act "is that all records of all state, county and municipal authorities are open to public inspection unless closed by a specific exception." Doe v. Sears, 245 Ga. 83, 263 S.E.2d 119 (1980), cert. denied, 446 U.S. 979 (1980). "[A]ny purported statutory exemption from disclosure under the Open Records Act must be narrowly construed." Hardaway Co. v. Rives, 262 Ga. 631, 422 S.E.2d 854 (1992) (emphasis in original); City of Brunswick v.

P. Security, national and/or state, of buildings, personnel or other.

The Act does not exempt meetings regarding national or state security, or any other type of security. However, it does exempt meetings to discuss records that are exempt from the Open Records Act under the homeland security exception. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(9). Also, meetings of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and other law enforcement agencies are exempt. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(3).

a. Conference calls and video/Internet conferencing.

The Act authorizes agencies with state-wide jurisdiction to conduct meetings by telephone conference call, but the meetings must comply with the requirements of the Act. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(f). See, e.g., 1994 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 94-11 (State Properties Commission may hold meetings via conference call if conducted in compliance with the Act). But cf. Claxton Enter. v. Evans Cty. Board of Comm'rs., 249 Ga. App. 870, 549 S.E.

C. Jury records

Overview

Georgia

While the issue has not been directly addressed, jury records should be open in the same way as voir dire in Georgia. See, e.g., Blevins v. State, 220 Ga. 720 (1965) (“The requirement that juries must be drawn in open court is a safeguard or guarantee against secret or Star Chamber court proceedings; it is a procedure which enables the public to observe the conduct of the judge in drawing juries and thus prevent any possible corruption or suspicion of corruption in this vital part of our jury system.”).

C. Competency and commitment proceedings

Overview

Georgia

There is nothing in Georgia suggesting competency and commitment proceedings would be treated differently than any other proceeding.