R5D05

5. Pleading format.

5. Pleading format.

The Superior Court rules apply.

5. Pleading format

Mississippi's rules of civil procedure generally follow the federal rules.

5. Pleading format.

Suit is subject to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and requires the filing of a summons and a complaint with allegations of fact and a request for relief.

5. Pleading format.

The extraordinary writ of mandamus is used to gain judicial access to public records.  The writ of mandamus should allege that the defendants are custodians of the public records sought and that the defendants refused to produce such records for inspection.  See Town of Manalapan v. Rechler, 674 So. 2d 789, 790 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) (“mandamus was an appropriate remedy to compel the timely production of public records request under Chapter 119.”); Donner v. Edelstein, 415 So. 2d 830 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982).

5. Pleading format.

An action under the Sunshine Law does not have any particular pleading requirements different from any other civil action. Because a petition failed to allege that the village's custodian of records had actually received a citizen's request for access to information, the citizen failed to state a claim for violation of the Sunshine Law. Anderson v. Jacksonville, 103 S.W.3d 190 (Mo.Ct.App. 2003).

5. Pleading format.

A simple pleading alleging failure to comply with open records law might suffice. Certainly the usual remedies such as mandamus, prohibition, injunction or declaratory judgment action would seem appropriate, too. However, mandamus and prohibition do not employ a summons, making the “summons” directive problematic. SDCL § 1-27-37.

5. Pleading format.

Suits to enforce the Act are typically initiated by filing with the court a verified complaint against the custodian of the records, specifying the request, the custodian's response (or lack thereof), an explanation of the alleged violation of the Act and a description of the relief sought. Where the custodian has refused to allow access, the complaint typically seeks issuance of an injunction requiring the custodian to afford access now and in the future and is accompanied by a motion and supporting memorandum to the same effect.

5. Pleading format.

A simple petition for relief setting forth the facts supporting the denial of access, as well as a description of the document requested and the relief sought, is sufficient to bring the matter before the district court. See Board of Trustees v. Board of County Commissioners, 186 Mont. 148, 606 P.2d 1069 (1980).

The special writs of mandamus and prohibition are inappropriate. A simple petition to the court alleging the violations is all that is required. See Goyen v. City of Troy, 276 Mont. 213, 915 P.2d 824 (1996).

5. Pleading format.

The Act denominates a pleading to obtain access to records as a petition. The petitioner should allege Tennessee citizenship. T.C.A. § 10-7-505(a). After the individual has filed a petition with the proper court, that court shall "issue an order requiring the defendant or respondent party or parties to immediately appear to show cause . . . why the petition should not be granted." T.C.A. § 10-7-505(b).

5. Pleading format.

See Haw. R. Civ. P.; Haw. R. Cir. Ct.