Sunshine law

Reporters Committee prevails in Missouri execution drug secrecy case

Adam Marshall | Freedom of Information | Commentary | July 17, 2015
July 17, 2015

A circuit court in Missouri has ruled that the state Department of Corrections cannot withhold information about the pharmacies and laboratories that compound, test, and supply the drugs that the state uses to carry out executions.

The ruling is a rare legal victory for the public’s right to know details about the sources of such drugs amid widespread concerns over the legality of how they are obtained.

“The public has a compelling interest and a clear right to know how their government is carrying out executions,” said Katie Townsend, Litigation Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “This ruling vindicates that right, and is an important win for the people of Missouri and the rest of the United States.”

Arkansas housing director criminally convicted for violating public records law

Kelly Swanson | Freedom of Information | News | June 11, 2015
June 11, 2015

Little Rock Metropolitan Housing Alliance Executive Director Rodney Forte was charged last November with violating Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Last Thursday, Forte was found guilty and convicted of a Class C misdemeanor.

Judge Alice F. Lightle described Forte’s actions as a “negligent violation of the FOIA” and sentenced him to pay a $100 fine and an additional $140 in court costs.

Reporters Committee urges Virginia legislature to reject execution secrecy bill

Adam Marshall | Freedom of Information | Commentary | February 12, 2015
February 12, 2015

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has sent a letter to the Virginia House of Delegates urging them to reject Senate Bill 1393, which would exempt crucial information on the drugs used in executions, as well as the pharmacies that produce them and any investigations into those pharmacies, from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Virginia FOIA). The bill passed the Virginia Senate Tuesday by a vote of 23 to 14.

Requesters complain of consultant's high FOIA search fees for Ferguson records

Adam Marshall | Freedom of Information | Commentary | October 9, 2014
October 9, 2014

Multiple news media organizations have filed formal complaints with the Missouri Attorney General over the high fees charged by the city of Ferguson in response to public records requests. The complaints come after reports of journalists being asked to pay up to $2,000 in advance to search through and copy emails and text messages. Thus far, complaints have been filed by the Associated Press, CNN, St. Louis Public Radio, and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

S.C. Supreme Court rules public bodies subject to FOIA

Amy Zhang | Freedom of Information | News | July 18, 2013
July 18, 2013

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state's public records law does not violate the First Amendment speech and association rights of nonprofits that are subject to the law's disclosure requirements because of their financial ties to local governments.

Senate committee passes measures on cameras in courtrooms

Mara Zimmerman | Content Regulation | Quicklink | April 30, 2010
April 30, 2010

The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed several measures allowing cameras in the courtroom, the Blog of Legal Times reports.

Hawaii County Council must fix meetings violation before acting

Lucas Tanglen | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | July 28, 2009
July 28, 2009

The Hawaii County Council will be legally barred from taking official government actions if it does not remedy an open meeting violation by Aug. 5, The Associated Press reported Monday.

NCAA gives ground in Florida records dispute

Lucas Tanglen | Freedom of Information | Feature | June 16, 2009
June 16, 2009

In response to a lawsuit alleging that it was violating Florida's open record law, the National Collegiate Athletic Association agreed Tuesday to let Florida State University transcribe, redact and release a document regarding sanctions in an academic scandal, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Judge finds no violation in mayor's closed-door meetings

Jordan Zappala | Freedom of Information | Feature | November 10, 2008
November 10, 2008

A Philadelphia court ruled against the local news media Friday in a fight over the mayor and city council's alleged violation of the state's Sunshine Act in a closed-door meeting last week.

FSU stalls over record request in NCAA probe

Kathleen Cullinan | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | August 20, 2008
August 20, 2008

Florida State University is apparently giving the media the cold shoulder over a seemingly public record detailing NCAA claims of wrongdoing at the school.