Pennsylvania

5. Private matter message on private hardware.

Although no case law has considered this precise issue, private matter messages on private hardware likely need not be disclosed.  See id.

c. Order future meetings open. M4C04C

The court may order future compliance with the Act’s provisions as relief. See Reading Eagle Co. v. Council of the City of Reading, 627 A.2d 305 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1993) (affirming trial court’s grant of permanent injunction against City Council, requiring it to announce specific reasons for going into executive session at future meetings); Patriot-News Co. v. Empowerment Team of the Harrisburg Sch. Dist., 763 A.2d 539 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2000) (upholding trial court’s entry of a preliminary injunction requiring meetings to be open to the public).

N. Personnel matters. M3N

Generally, a subject for executive session. See Morning Call, Inc. v. Council of the Borough of East Stroudsburg, 6 Pa. D. & C. 4th 321 (Monroe Cty. Ct. C.P. 1989). See II.A.2.a supra.

4. Contents of appeal letter.

The Act requires that the appeal “state the grounds upon which the requester asserts that the record is a public record, legislative record or financial record and shall address any grounds stated by the agency for delaying or denying the request.” Section 1101(a)(1).

b. What effect does absence of a quorum have? M1D1B

When those present at a meeting are of an insufficient number to constitute a quorum, there is no requirement that the meeting be open to the public. See Muncy Creek Twp. Citizens Comm. v. Shipman, 573 A.2d 662 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1990). See also Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Ass’n v. The Senate of Pennsylvania, 537 A.2d 96, 98 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1988) (“Unofficial gatherings of unnamed legislators for whatever purpose do not constitute ‘meetings’ subject to the provisions of the Sunshine Act.”).

C. Bank records.

The canceled checks of a township’s bank account and payroll account are public records accessible to the public, even if in the possession of a private bank. Carbondale Township v. Murray, 440 A.2d 1273, 1274-75 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1982) (interpreting old act). Contra Commonwealth v. Barclay, 47 Del. Cty. Rptr. 203 (1960) (interpreting old act).

H. Post-trial records

Overview

Pennsylvania