Pennsylvania

c. Are only certain agencies subject to the act? M1C1C

All entities deemed “agencies” are subject to the Act.

2. Criminal contempt

If the contempt is deemed criminal and occurs in open court — such as where a reporter refuses to comply with a court order to disclose information — the court may summarily punish the reporter. 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 4132; Commonwealth v. Mayberry, 327 A.2d 86, 89 (Pa. 1974). If the court seeks to impose incarceration as punishment, and the incarceration does not exceed six months, the reporter then has no right to certain protections generally afforded a criminal defendant, such as a jury trial or bail. Id.; Pa. R. Crim. P. 86(I).

8. Judicial remedies available.

The reviewing court may affirm or reverse the agency’s decision and, in certain situations discussed below, award reasonable attorneys fees and costs.

The Act spells out what the court must include in its decision: “The decision of the court shall contain findings of fact and conclusions of law based upon the evidence as a whole. The decision shall clearly and concisely explain the rationale for the decision.” Sections 1301(a), 1302(a).

O. Real estate negotiations. M3O

A subject for executive session until an option or sales agreement is obtained. 65 Pa. Cons. Stat. §  708(a)(3). See II.A.2.a supra.

H. Computer software

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

3. Electronic meetings. M1D3

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

7. What court. M4C07

In cases involving state agencies, the Commonwealth Court has original jurisdiction of legal challenges. See Property Owners v. Department of Community Affairs, 552 A.2d 769 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1989) (deciding that the Department of Community Affairs did not have jurisdiction to determine whether the Sunshine Act had been violated). In all other cases, the various Courts of Common Pleas have original jurisdiction. See, e.g., Patriot-News Co. v. Empowerment Team of the Harrisburg Sch. Dist., 763 A.2d 539 (Pa. Commw. Ct.

C. Third-party subpoenas

There is no statutory or case law in Pennsylvania addressing this issue.