Rhode Island

c. Partial disclosure of information

In Fischer v. McGowan, 585 F. Supp. 978 (D.R.I. 1984), plaintiffs sought to compel disclosure of certain unnamed sources of an allegedly libelous article in an Australian newspaper about the financial troubles of the America's Cup yacht. The author of the article, who had not been named as a defendant, claimed privilege and moved to quash. Drawing on decisions from other jurisdictions, the court found that the reporter had not waived his privileges under the shield law by disclosing some of his sources or by providing a generic description of the undisclosed sources.

8. Judicial remedies available.

Suit may be filed for injunctive or declaratory relief. R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-8(b). In Rhode Island Federation of Teachers v. Sundlun, 595 A.2d 799 (R.I. 1991), the Court held that this section does not provide a remedy to compel nondisclosure when a public body or official is about to disclose material that might be entitled to an exemption under this Act.

4. Personally identifying information.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-2(4)(i)(A)(I) permits access to the following information that is identifiable to an individual employee: “the name, gross salary, salary range, total cost of paid fringe benefits, gross amount received in overtime, and other remuneration in addition to salary, job title, job description, dates of employment and positions held with the state or municipality, work location, business telephone number, the city or town of residence, and the date of termination”.

b. Bodies whose members include governmental officials.

Not expressly included, but likely falls within the scope of the APRA as constituting a public or private agency, partnership, corporation, or business entity acting on behalf of and/or in place of any public agency. R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-2(1) (1999).


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

2. Expedited appeals

Expedited appeals need to be made by motion.

2. County.

The OML applies to meetings of all public bodies, which are defined as "any department, agency, commission, committee, board, council, bureau, or authority or any subdivision thereof of state or municipal government, and shall include all authorities defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-1(b). R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-46-2(c). However, any political party, organization, or unit thereof meeting or convening is not and should not be considered to be a public body. Id.

11. Mug shots.

There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.