R5D05

5. Pleading format.

5. Pleading format.

Pleading format is that of a regular civil action.

5. Pleading format.

Public records are prima facie disclosable to any person who makes an adequate request. Booth Newspapers Inc. v. Regents of the University of Michigan, 93 Mich. App. 100, 286 N.W.2d 55, 59 n.9 (1979). The complainant need not allege that the materials sought are not subject to statutory exemption. Exemption is a defense in actions brought under the FOIA. Booth Newspapers Inc. v. Regents of the University of Michigan, 286 N.W.2d at 60.

5. Pleading format.

The Act states the requester may “file a petition for review or other document as might be required by rule of court;” Sections 1301(a), 1302(a). The Act provides no further guidance.

5. Pleading format.

General rules of pleading are typically followed. Where a citizen's action, seeking a writ of mandamus to compel county officials to produce various documents that were requested in the context of another lawsuit relating to alleged campaign improprieties, was brought under Delaware's FOIA, the court found that as to certain requests, the record was unclear as to whether mandamus was the only available relief obtaining for those documents. Mell v. New Castle County, 835 A.2d 141 (Del. Super. 2003).

5. Pleading format.

Sec. 13.08 does not require pleading in any specific format. The assumption is that such a suit will follow the Rules of Civil Procedure.

5. Pleading format.

The pleading is in the form of a civil complaint against the agency alleging that the agency denied access, the records sought are public records, and plaintiff followed all proper procedures in making the request, with a prayer for injunctive or declaratory relief. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-8(b).

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).