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7. What court?

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  • Alabama

    Although we know of no authority that directly addresses this point, a complaint for access to public records in Alabama may be filed in the state circuit court in the county where the custodian of the records resides. See Ala. Code § 6-3-2(b)(3) (1993).

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  • Alaska

    Suits would normally be filed in the state superior court in the location where the plaintiff resides. The state district court does not have the power to issue injunctive relief. There is no reason why a claim based on the state public records act could not be asserted in federal court, assuming there is otherwise a basis for federal court jurisdiction. In one case in which asbestos products manufacturer W.R. Grace Co. attempted to preclude the Anchorage Daily News from gaining access to a secret settlement of a federal court case through a state court public records suit, the state and federal courts allowed the matter to be resolved in state court. See Anchorage School District v. Anchorage Daily News, 779 P.2d 1191 (Alaska 1989); cf. Anchorage School District v. W.R. Grace, (U.S. Dist. Ct., D. Ak., 1989); appeal dismissed sub nom W.R. Grace v. Anchorage Daily News, ( 9th Cir. 1989).

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Arkansas

    A FOIA suit must be brought in Pulaski County Circuit court or the circuit court of the judicial district in which the plaintiff resides if a state agency is involved. If any other government body or a private entity is involved, venue is proper only in the circuit court of the judicial district in which the entity is located. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-107(a); ACORN v. Jackson, 263 Ark. 67, 562 S.W.2d 589 (1978).

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  • California

    The lawsuit must be filed in the superior court of the county where the records or some part thereof are maintained. Cal. Gov't Code § 6259(a).

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  • Colorado

    District court in the district where the records are located. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-204(5).

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  • Connecticut

    The appeal must be brought in the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain or in the judicial district where the aggrieved party resides. Conn. Gen. Stat. §4-183(b).

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  • Delaware

    A court of competent jurisdiction in the county or city in which the public body ordinarily meets or in which the plaintiff resides. 29 Del. C. § 10005(b). If access to records is sought, the action should be filed in Superior Court. If the plaintiff seeks to enjoin action or wants access to a meeting, the action should be brought in the Court of Chancery.

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  • District of Columbia

    Suits should be filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. D.C. Code Ann. § 2-537(b).

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  • Florida

    The public records act authorizes suits for injunction in circuit court in lieu of administrative remedy. See State ex. rel. Dep’t of Gen. Servs. v. Willis, 344 So. 2d 580, 588 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977); Daniels v. Bryson, 548 So. 2d 679 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1989) (injunctive relief appropriate where pattern of non-compliance with public records law together with showing of likelihood of future violation).

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  • Georgia

    Georgia’s superior courts have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with the Act. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-73(a).

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  • Hawaii

    The circuit court in the judicial circuit in which the request for the record is made, where the requested record is maintained, or where the agency's headquarters are located, has jurisdiction over an action brought under the UIPA. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-15(e).

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  • Idaho

    The petition must be filed in the state district court of the county in which the records are physically located. Idaho Code § 74-115(1).

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  • Illinois

    If a state agency denies a request, suit may be filed either in the circuit court for the county where the public body has its principle office or where the requester resides. See 5 ILCS 140/11(b). If a non-state agency (such as a municipality) denies a request, suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the public body is located. See 5 ILCS 140/11(c). An action for administrative review of a binding opinion by the Attorney General must be filed in Cook or Sangamon County. See 5 ILCS 140/11.5.

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  • Indiana

    The action must be filed in the circuit or superior court of the county in which the denial occurred. Ind. Code § 5-14-3-9(e).

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  • Iowa

    [D]istrict court for the county in which the lawful custodian has its principal place of business. Iowa Code § 22.10(1).

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  • Kansas

    Suit is filed in District Court of any county where the records are located. K.S.A. 45-222(a).

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  • Kentucky

    An original action or an appeal of an Attorney General's decision must be filed in either the Circuit Court of the county where the public agency has its principal place of business or where the public record is maintained. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.882(1).

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  • Louisiana

    The district court for the parish [county] in which the office of the custodian is located. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44:35A.

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  • Maine

    A FOAA appeal must be filed in the Superior Court. 1 M.R.S.A. § 409(1).

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  • Maryland

    The person or governmental unit denied access to a public record may file a complaint with the circuit court for the county where the complainant resides or has a principal place of business or where the public record is located. § 4-362(a)(3); Attorney Grievance Comm'n v. Abell, 294 Md. 680, 452 A.2d 656 (1982).

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  • Massachusetts

    Superior Court. G.L. c. 66 § 10(b). Supreme Judicial Court theoretically has concurrent jurisdiction but will normally remand case to Superior Court.

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  • Michigan

    A person may commence an action in the court of claims to compel a state agency to comply with Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.241. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.241(5).

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  • Minnesota

    Suit may be commenced in: 1) the county where the person seeking relief resides; 2) the county where the political subdivision exists; or 3) in the case of the state, any county. Minn. Stat. § 13.08, subd. 3.

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  • Mississippi

    Suit is to be filed in the chancery court of the county in which the public body is located. § 25-61-13(1). A public body is not "located" in a county simply because it does business there. Board of Trustees v. Van Slyke, 510 So. 2d 490, 492-93 (Miss. 1987).

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  • Montana

    Any district court has jurisdiction to resolve a petition requesting documents.

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  • Nebraska

    Suit must be filed "in the district court within whose jurisdiction the state, county, or political subdivision officer who has custody of the public record can be served." Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-712.03.

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  • Nevada

    Suit should be filed in "the district court in the county in which the book or record is located." NRS 239.011.

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  • New Hampshire

    Superior Court. RSA 91-A:7.

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  • New Jersey

    The Verified Complaint and Order to Show Cause is filed in the Superior Court, Law Division, in the county wherein the public agency is located.

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  • New Mexico

    State District Court.

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  • New York

    The Article 78 proceeding should be brought in the Supreme Court. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 7804(b). The proceeding generally should be commenced in any county within the judicial district where the decision to deny the request was made or where the principal office of the respondent is located. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 8506(b), 7804(b). However, proceedings against the Regents of the University of the State of New York, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Tax and Finance, the Tax Appeals Tribunal, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Transportation in specific cases, the Water Resources Board, the Comptroller or the Department of Agriculture and Markets must be brought in the Supreme Court, Albany Cty.. N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 506(b)(2). See Mullgrav v. Santucci, 195 A.D.2d 786, 600 N.Y.S.2d 382 (3d Dep’t 1993) (holding that petitioner’s proceeding brought in Ulster County involving records of a Grand Jury proceeding in Queens County may have been improper venue, but that Supreme Court, Ulster County did not lack jurisdiction).

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  • North Carolina

    G.S. § 132-9 provides that petitions seeking disclosure of public records may be filed in either division of the General Court of Justice — i.e., Superior Court or in District Court. Most petitioners elect to file in Superior Court. However, in rural counties where Superior Court is held infrequently, actions are sometimes commenced in District Court.

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  • North Dakota

    Venue for an action is in the county where the entity has its principal office or, if the entity does not have a principal office within the state, in Burleigh County. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-21.2(1).

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  • Ohio

    A person aggrieved by the public office's failure to comply with the public records statute may initiate suit in either the common pleas court (trial level), court of appeals (intermediate level appellate court), or the Ohio Supreme Court (highest level appellate court). Ohio Rev. Code § 149.43(C).

    Or the person aggrieved can employ the court of claims procedure described above.

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  • Oklahoma

    State District Court.

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  • Oregon

    With respect to state agencies, including any action for injunctive or declaratory relief following an order of the Attorney General, the litigation must be filed in Marion County Circuit Court. In the case of local governmental bodies, including actions following an order by a district attorney, the litigation is to be instituted in the circuit court for the county in which the public body has its legal jurisdiction. Actions following actions by an elected official may be in the local circuit court or in Marion County. If the records are held by a health professional regulatory board, an action may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the records are held. See ORS 192.411, ORS 192.415.

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  • Pennsylvania

    The Commonwealth Court has jurisdiction over appeals from Commonwealth, legislative and judicial agencies. 65 Pa. C.S.A. § 1301(a); Pa. State Educ. Ass’n v. Pa. Dep’t of Cmty. & Econ. Dev., 4 A.3d 1156 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010) (holding the Commonwealth Court does not have original jurisdiction over disputes over records held by local school districts). The applicable Court of Common Pleas has jurisdiction over appeals from local agencies. 65 Pa. C.S.A. § 67.1302(a).

    Note:  A court reviewing an appeal from an OOR hearing officer may independently review all of the following: the request for public records, the agency’s response, the appeal, the hearing transcript, if any, the final written determination of the appeals officer, a stipulation of the parties, the documents at issue in camera, and any supplementation of the record through hearing or remand.  Bowling v. Office of Open Records, 990 A.2d 813, 818 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010) (“[A] reviewing court, in its appellate jurisdiction, independently reviews the OOR’s orders and may substitute its own findings of fact for that of the agency.”).

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  • Rhode Island

    Suit must be filed in the Superior Court in the county where the records are maintained. R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-8(b).

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  • South Carolina

    Court of Common Pleas.

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  • Tennessee

    The petition should be filed in either the chancery or circuit court of the county in which the records are located. If the records are state records kept by a state department or agency, an individual may petition the courts of Davidson County (Nashville), the courts of the county where the records are kept, or the courts of the county of the petitioner's residence to obtain access. T.C.A. § 10-7-505(b). The Tennessee Supreme Court has recently confirmed that when seeking email integrated records, the requestor need not present his claim to the criminal court handling the underlying case. The Tennessean v. Metro Gov’t of Nashville 485 S.W. 3d 857 (Tenn 2016). But see Alcorn v. State, 20 TAM 52-59 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 1995) (holding that criminal court was proper place to petition for transcripts of voir dire held in that court).

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  • Texas

    The Act provides that a mandamus suit filed by a requestor must be filed in a district court for the county in which the main offices of the governmental body are located. Tex. Gov't Code § 552.321(b). A suit filed by the Attorney General under the Act must be filed in a district court of Travis County, except that a suit against a municipality with a population of 100,000 or less must be filed in a district court for the county in which the main offices of the municipality are located. Id.

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  • Utah

    The appeal must be filed with the district court for the State of Utah.

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  • Vermont

    The aggrieved requester can file suit in any county where he or she resides, or works, or where the records are located, or in the superior court for the county that includes Montpelier, the state capital. 1 V.S.A. § 319(a).

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  • Virginia

    Suits brought to enforce the provisions of this Act shall be filed in the general district court or the circuit court of the county or city from which the public body has been elected or appointed and in which the denial of rights occurred. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3713.A. Suits against state instrumentalities may be brought in the general district court or circuit court at the place of the aggrieved party's residence or in the City of Richmond. Id.

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  • Washington

    The Public Records Act’s venue provision states that actions are to be brought in the superior court in the county in which the requested record is maintained.  RCW 42.56.550.

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  • West Virginia

    Suits seeking access to records under the Freedom of Information Act ordinarily must be brought "in the circuit court in the county where the public record is kept." W. Va. Code § 29B-1-3(4). However, an exception to this provision, according to a recent state Supreme Court decision, is that FOIA complaints in which the defendant public body is a state agency may be brought only in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County. W. Va. Code § 14-2-2; State ex rel. Fairmont State Univ. Bd. of Governors v. Wilson, 806 S.E.2d 794, 239 W. Va. 870 (2017).

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  • Wisconsin

    The action should be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the custodian has his or her office.

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  • Wyoming

    A person denied access to a record may apply to the district court of the district in which the record is located. Wyo. Stat. § 16-4-203(f) & (g) (1977, Rev. 1991 & Cum. Supp. 1996).

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