Case Number: 1021 C.D. 2020
Court: Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Clients: Nicole Brambila, PublicSource
Petition for Review Filed: Oct. 19, 2020
Background: In May 2020, Nicole Brambila, a reporter for the nonprofit news organization PublicSource, filed a Right to Know Law request seeking aggregated information about pneumonia and influenza deaths for a period of five years from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Upon receiving her Right to Know Law request, the health department provided Brambila with just three weeks of data. Brambila sought review of the health department’s decision in the Office of Open Records, the agency responsible for handling public records appeals. The OOR sided with the state health department.
On behalf of Brambila and PublicSource, Reporters Committee attorneys then filed an appeal in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Update: On Nov. 9, 2021, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the OOR’s final determination in favor of the state health department.
2020-10-19: Petition for review
2021-03-15: Petitioners’ principal brief
2021-04-19: Department of Health reply brief
2021-05-03: Reply brief of PublicSource and Nicole Brambila
2021-11-09: Memorandum opinion