Pennsylvania

H. Post-trial records

Overview

Pennsylvania

D. Are segregable portions of records containing exempt material available?

Yes. Where a document contains information that is subject to access as well as information that is not subject to access, the agency must provide access to the document while redacting or omitting the information not subject to access. Section 706 See e.g., Pa. State Troopers Ass’n v. Scolforo, 2011 WL 1347006 at *6 - *7 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2011) (holding otherwise exempt records may be disclosed and redacted at the agency’s discretion); Lutz v. City of Philadelphia, 6 A.3d 669 (Pa. Commw. Ct.

6. Material is not cumulative

Although no Pennsylvania court has specifically addressed whether a reporter's material is cumulative evidence, if the material is cumulative, it necessarily is not crucial and likely is available from alternative sources. Accordingly, the party seeking disclosure would not be able to meet its burden in overcoming the First Amendment privilege.

1. Number that must be present. M1D1

A meeting is defined as: “Any prearranged gathering of an agency which is attended or participated in by a quorum of the members of an agency held for the purpose of deliberating agency business or taking official action.” 65 Pa. Cons. Stat. §  703. In determining whether a quorum was present, the length of time an agency member spent at the “meeting” or whether he participated in the questioning is not relevant. Ackerman v. Upper Mt. Bethel Tp., 567 A.2d 1116 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1989). Agency members need not be physically present. In Babac v. Pennsylvania Milk Mktg.

3. Contact of interested amici.

Anyone “interested” in the questions involved in any appeal may file a brief amicus curiae without leave; oral argument by an amicus is permitted rarely and only at the court’s direction. Pa. R.A.P. 531.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state’s highest court.

B. How to start. M4B

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

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.

1. Civil contempt

Civil contempt has "two sub-species: compensatory or coercive." Bowden, 838 A.2d at 761.