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City of Los Angeles v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

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  1. Freedom of Information

The Reporters Committee and 15 media organizations filed an amicus brief in the California Court of Appeal in City of Los Angeles v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, in support of intervernors San Diego Union-Tribune. The case involves a “reverse-CPRA claim”; the San Diego Union Tribune sent a public records request sent to the Metropolitan Water District and the City of Los Angeles, after notification, sued the Metropolitan Water District to prevent them from disclosing records. The brief argues that these reverse-CPRA actions are contrary to the California Constitution and California Supreme Court precedent and that the Court of Appeal case that approved of them, Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, should be reconsidered and rejected. It explains that Marken’s assumptions have proven to be false, as requesters cannot rely on agencies to defend the public’s right of access, and they are deterred from litigating reverse-CPRA claims because they are unsure whether they will be awarded attorneys fees, as they normally would under the CPRA. The brief further highlights how reverse-CPRA actions go well beyond what even the Marken court considered acceptable.

2019-07-19 Filed RCFP Amicus Br City of LA v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California