Pennsylvania

7. What court.

The Commonwealth Court has jurisdiction over appeals from Commonwealth, legislative and judicial agencies. Section 1301(a); Pennsylvania State Education Association v. Pennsylvania Dep’t of Community and Economic Dev., 4 A.3d 1156 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010)(holding the Commonwealth Court does not have original jurisdiction over disputes over records held by local school districts).

The applicable local court of common pleas has jurisdiction over appeals from local agencies. Section 1302(a).

4. Public matter message on private hardware.

An open records officer must make a good faith determination as to the existence of public records on private hardware.  See, e.g., Silberstein, 2011 WL 31550 at *1.

3. Nature of appeal

See supra § VIII.A.1.

b. Invalidate the decision. M4C04B

The court may invalidate action taken at any meeting that violates any requirement of the Act, including the notice provisions. It may grant declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to particular practices. It may temporarily enjoin challenged action while it considers the merits of the challenge. However, a court is not required to invalidate action taken where there has been a violation of the Sunshine Act. Ackerman v. Upper Mt. Bethel Tp., 567 A.2d 1116 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1989).

1. Civil

a. Shield Law

Pennsylvania's Shield Law is applicable to civil cases.

b. First Amendment privilege

c. Minutes. M1E2C

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

2. Rules for closed investigations.

The Act makes no distinction between active and closed investigations.