Pennsylvania

E. Appellate proceedings

Overview

Pennsylvania

a. Attorney fees.

(This section is blank. See the point above.)

B. Elements

Since the Pennsylvania Shield Law provides an absolute privilege against compelled disclosure of confidential source information, the predominant issues generally are whether the subpoenaed information is confidential source information and whether the Shield Law's protections have been waived by publication of the identity of the confidential source.

Under the First Amendment privilege, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated the elements as follows (without actually ruling that there is such a privilege in Pennsylvania):

N. Police records.

The Act contains a broad exemption for records “relating to or resulting in a criminal investigation.” This exemption includes complaints, investigative materials, confidential source records, victim information and other records. Section 708(b)(16). See §  IV((K)(4) supra.

7. Others.

None other than those identified infra.

D. Federal programs. M3D

Open if agency business or official action is involved unless one of the Act's exceptions applies.

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

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

b. Disclosure of non-confidential source's name

The Pennsylvania Shield Law does not protect non-confidential source information.

There is no Pennsylvania case law directly addressing waiver of the First Amendment reporter's privilege by disclosure of a non-confidential source's name.

O. Prison, parole and probation reports.

Although the Act contains no exemption for such records, 37 Pa. Code § 61.2 classifies all parole and probation recommendations as “private and confidential” and thus exempt from disclosure under Section 305(a)(3).  See, e.g. Jones v. Office of Open Records, 993 A.2d 339 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010).