Georgia

1. Status of requestor.

The Georgia Open Records Act provides that public records shall be open for a personal inspection by "any citizen of this state." O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(b). A citizen is not precluded from exercising his rights under the Act merely because he is an employee of a nonresident corporation and the information received may be shared with his employer. Atchison v. Hosp. Auth., 245 Ga. 494, 265 S.E.2d 801 (1980). See also 1993 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 93-27 (records should also be made available to nonresidents).

B. Can the requester obtain a customized search of computer databases to fit particular needs?

Although not specifically mandated by the Act, government entities often comply with requests for customized searches of computer databases. The Georgia Supreme Court has held, however, that state agencies are not required to create new programs, to provide public access via personal computers, or otherwise to have a computer technician create a computer program to compile otherwise separate data sets according to criteria conceived by the citizen. Schulten, Ward & Turner, LLP v. Fulton-DeKalb Hosp. Auth., 272 Ga.

H. Post-trial records

Overview

Georgia

Post-trial records are also presumptively open. See The Atlanta Journal-Constitution v. Long, 259 Ga. 23, 24 (1989) (vacating an order sealing from public access “all pleadings and discovery, either pre-trial or post-trial, for the duration of the records’ existence”).

6. Material is not cumulative

The Georgia privilege cannot be overcome where a party seeks testimony or materials that would be cumulative of existing evidence. See, e.g., In re Paul, 270 Ga. 680, 682 (Ga. 1999) ("Not only does the state have at least two confessions on videotape, where the jury can observe the defendant, but the state also presented expert testimony of a forensic psychiatrist. Thus, the state does not need the reporter's testimony to prepare or present its case to the jury concerning Jill's mental state when he confessed to police.").

a. Administrative forum.

The Act does not provide for an administrative forum.

(3). Where posted.

The posting should be placed in a conspicuous location at the agency's 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) (where the school board had previously announced a change to the regular meeting location, it was responsible for posting a notice of a special meeting at this new location).

B. How long to wait.

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

1. What kind of records are covered?

The Act includes within its definition of records "documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer records or generated information, or similar material." O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(a).

H. Computer software

The Act is not applicable to any computer program or computer software used or maintained in the course of operation of a public office or agency.  O.C.G.A. 50-18-72(f).

IX. Interests often cited in opposing a presumption of access

Overview

Georgia

While there is a presumption of access, that presumption may in theory be overcome “by evidence constituting ‘clear and convincing proof’ that no means available other than closure of the hearing will serve to protect the right of the movant.” R.W. Page Corp. v. Lumpkin, 249 Ga. 576, 580 (1982).