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News Archives by State

Alabama

Prison Officials Violate Open Records Act

Examiner.com September 14, 2009

>> Alabama Supreme Court rules after assaults and murders at Donaldson Correctional Facility.

Alaska

Alaska Governor’s Office Ducks Records Release Request

Anchorage Daily News Dec. 10, 2008

>>Executive privilege cited in refusing to release telephone and e-mail messages involving Todd Palin.

UPDATE! Alaska resident brings the fight to the courts

Capital City Weekly Dec. 17, 2008

Palin emails priced at $15M

MSNBC Oct. 17, 2008

>>Even if news organizations were willing to pay the extraordinarily-high price for the public records, they wouldn’t be available until after the election.

California

Mom and Daughter Sue Cali. School over Pro-life T-Shirt

Daily News July 8, 2009

>>School administrators asked girl to change shirt because of ‘inappropriate subject matter’

Governor Schwarzenegger Wants to Restrict Minors from Violent Video Games

Broadcasting and Cable July 6, 2009

>> First Amendment lawyer claims the gov. is undermining freedom of information

Schwarzenegger dedicated to government transparency

Imperial Valley News June 4, 2009

>>Governor launches transparency Web site among other improvements

Decision on Post-mortem Privacy Rights to be Made in California

VosIzNeias.com May 17, 2009

>>The decision will mean big changes for the online industry

Judge orders reporter not to print name of victim

Victorville Daily Press March 30, 2009

>>The gag order constitutes prior restraint, an act that violates the First Amendment

California county officials release meeting calendars

The San Diego Union-Tribune March 22, 2009

>>Following Gov. Schwarzenegger’s lead, four years later, officials submit calendars for public inspection

Judge to rule in CBS disclosure suit

North County Times March 11, 2009

>>Prosecutor seeks un-aired material from an episode of 60 Minutes that dealt with a Marine who led his troops to allegedly slay Iraqi citizens.

Judge Orders Gag Order in Murder Case

Ventura County Star Dec. 11, 208

>>California Judge prevents local paper from printing information regarding the murder of a local 6-year-old boy.

UPDATE! Judge lifts gag order

SF suit demands bills, votes database

San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 4, 2008

>>Open-government advocates ask that the Superior Court force the Legislative Counsel to give up an electronic database which contains records of bills and lawmakers’ voting.

Calif. school board approves closed meeting

The Press-Enterprise, Nov. 17, 2008

>>Despite the murky resignation details and a $300,000 severance package, the Rialto school board voted to uphold the closed meeting status, under which the resignation of its superintendent was decided.

“Inappropriate” California high school paper shut down by administration

San Mateo Daily Journal, Nov. 14, 2008

>>The Scots Express was shut down last week after a satirical article featuring the writer’s “sexiness.”

Calif. county CEO may have hid wife’s pay raise

ABC30.com, Nov. 18, 2008

>>In violation of open-meeting laws, Merced County’s CEO might have illegally hid the fact that his wife, who works in the Mental Health Dept., was to receive a pay raise.

Calif. paper ordered not to print testimony from lawsuit against it

>>The Orange County Register was told it may not report the substance of witness testimony in the class-action lawsuit brought against the paper by some 6,000 current and former carriers. [Sept. 23, 2008]

Colorado

School Board violated Colorado open meeting law

Steamboat Pilot & Today March 27, 2009

>>The Board failed to announcement meeting

Colorado judge rules that governor’s use of private phone for government business is off-limits to the public.

The Denver Post, Oct. 15, 2008

Connecticut

Yale University Accused of Violating Open-Records Law

Yale Daily News, September 24,2009

>>Yale police union asks university for salaries of top non-union department officials.

Bridgeport Diocese Seeks to Cloak Itself in First Amendment

The Boston Globe August 29, 2009

>>Church stalls access for seven years

Putnam Connecticut Town Officials to take FOIA Course

Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Oct 29, 2008

>>Per a complaint filed by a town resident, Putnam selectmen and officials will take a FOIA workshop after various public-meeting missteps

New Law Shuts Down Connecticut Town Websites

WFSB.com, Dec. 10, 2008

>>A new law requiring towns to post minutes of meetings online within 24 hours is forcing some towns to scrap sites because small staffs can’t keep up. No IT funding is coming from the state, which passed the law on Wednesday

Delaware

Dover paper demands unsealing of documents in ongoing investigation

Foster’s Daily Democrat, Nov. 11, 2008

>>The case judge held a closed door hearing on the issue, but hasn’t made a decision on whether documents from a homicide case should be unsealed

Florida

New Florida governor moves to restrict public access, despite the state’s progressive public access laws

WTSP.com (Tampa Bay) June 29,2011

Court Sides with Florida State University on NCAA Records Flap

Jacksonville Observer October 1, 2009

Lawyers Fight Over the Bill in Venice, Fla. Sunshine Suit

Herald-Tribune September 16, 2009

Georgia

Georgia AG gets tough with public officials who violate public access law

Atlanta Journal-Constitution February 15, 2011

County Board violated open meeting law

Tribune & Georgian March 25, 2009

>>Board of Assessors took a closed-door vote

Iowa

Governor Tells Paper to Pay for Records

The Times March 15, 2009

>>The proposed fee of $630 is not for copies of the e-mails; just for the cost of having Gov.’s attorney examine each of 900 e-mails in question.

Illinois

Q&A with Attorney General Lisa Madigan

The Times May 15, 2009

>>During her six years as Attorney General, Madigan has pushed for greater public access to public records.

McHenry County College Withholds Former President’s Contract From Northwest Herald

Northwest Herald May 17, 2009

>>The college argues it would be an unnecessary invasion of privacy.

Illinois Officials Try – Unsuccessfully – to Hide Salary Hikes

Northwest Herald April 10, 2009

>>Illinois Department of Transportation has attempted to block a FOIA request concerning raises given Jan. 1 under the Blagojevich administration.

The controversial term of former Governor Rod Blagojevich means good news for open record reform in Illinois

The Chicago Tribune March 8, 2009

>>“Rod may be the best thing that ever happened to the Freedom of Information Act,” said a Springfield lawyer

Also:
Illinois open records law decried as ineffective

The Chicago Tribune March 8, 2009

>>Requests for public records can often take not days, not months, but years

Illinois Dept. of Healthcare rejects FOIA request for funding info.

Associated Press Oct. 22, 2008

>>Gov. Rod Blagojevich doled out state-subsidized health care, but won’t release expense information or whom it covers

A reporter pleads the fifth: What did music critic Jim DeRogatis have to fear from testifying in the R. Kelly trial?

Chicago Reader June 12, 2008

Indiana

County commissioners met behind closed doors

The Indy Star March 26, 2009

>>The officials violated Indiana open meeting law

Louisiana

Judge rules for paper in records case

Times-Picayune March 28, 2009

>>>Police Department files will be released

New Orleans mayor fined over $7,000 for FOIA refusal

The Times-Picayune March 10, 2009

>>Mayor Roy Nagin stalled to release e-mails requested by a local television station

Maine

Maine company wants county real estate records – Court will rule on county denials

Sun Journal August 16, 2010

Maine Agency Demands $36,000 Fee for Possibly Embarrassing Emails

The Portland Press Herald October 5, 2010

Associated Press CEO talks about importance of Sunshine Week

The Boston Globe March 10, 2009

>>Now in it’s fifth year, Sunshine Week helps citizens’ flex their right to know

Maryland

Amount of severance package sought

The Washington Post March 26, 2009

>>Montgomery County councilman calls for details of severance package for outgoing county official

Police Union filed complaint

Prince George’s Gazette March 26, 2009

>>Complaint filed with AG claims the county council violated open-meeting law

New Software touted to help process FOIA requests

PR Web March 5, 2009

>>Equivio’s software, already used at NASA, is said to cut cost and time of handling FOIA requests by 30 percent

Maryland State Trooper Poses as Activist to Seek Out Terror Suspects

L.A. Times Dec. 7, 2008

>>An undercover trooper joined various non-violence and activism groups and later recorded many of the members as terror suspects. Among those listed? Two Nuns, a lobbyist, and former congressional candidate

Massachusetts

>>Mass Development claims the public has no right to know what its legal bills are

Commonwealth Magazine June 11, 2011

>>NEFAC files amicus brief: Identities of those who get largest public pensions in NH should be public record

April 25, 2011

>>Globe finds state agencies may be unaware of existence of Public Records law, or even First Amendment

Boston.com April 4, 2011

>><Globe sues state, in challenge to Patrick Administration’s distaste for transparency

Boston.com March 26, 2022

>>NEFAC Appoints Rose Cavanagh Executive Director

>>Retaliation? Cape Cod fire board bans laptops, but just some, from public meetings

Cape Cod Times February 24, 2011

>>Mass. agency refuses to release public rebate records, claims privacy exemption

CommonWealth Magazine February 8, 2011

>> Gov. Patrick’s second-term motto: Redact Government Records?

CommonWealth Magazine January 13, 2011

>>Brockton officials decide that cell phone numbers of city officials, taxpayer-funded, are unlisted to the public

Enterprise News November 22, 2010

>>State backpedals on prison threat to blogger, as someone in authority remembers there is a First Amendment

The Boston Globe November 12, 2010

>>Mass. Agency Gives Public Records To Website, Then Threatens Blogger With Prison If He Does Not Remove Documents From Site

The Boston Globe November 11, 2010

>>Channel 5 Investigates: Patrick Administration blocks far too many public records requests

The Boston Channel (WCVB TV) October 21, 2010

>>Mass. Ethics Comission, Never Very Transparent, Goes Nearly Dark

Boston Globe August 14, 2010

>>Error Takes Teeth Out of Allegedly Tougher Open Meeting Law in Mass.

Boston Globe July 20, 2010

>>What transparency? Some Mass. Congress Members Hide Earmark Information

Boston Globe July 12,2010

>>Only 117 Municipalities Post Basic Records Online

The Boston Globe March 19, 2009

>>Vast majority across the state fall short.

MBTA defies state order to make Beverly records public

The Beverly Citizen March 25, 2009

>>MBTA also rebuffs Newton reporter

237 Mass. towns still not posting records online

The Boston Globe March 19, 2009

>>Common Cause recognizes 117 for their town websites, but there is still much work to be done

For once, some good news – MetroWest towns fare well on e-mail requests

MetroWest Daily News March 19, 2009

>>Local school superintendents fare well on FOIA test

Massachusetts ranks 38 of 50 states for online accessibility to public records

Metrowest Daily News March 16, 2009

>>Conducted in honor of Sunshine Week, the survey reveals that Mass. is still in the dark

Mass. Legislature to public: drop dead

Springfield Republican March 15, 2009

>>Pending bills would subject the legislature to open meeting and disclosure laws

Town officials refuse to release minutes of hearing against retired police officer

The Enterprise March 7, 2009

>>Town cites legal liability as their reasoning for keeping hearings private

Town selectman questions closed-door executive session

The Worcester T&G March 6, 2009

>>“Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it,” said the Selectman of the executive session between the Board and the School Committee

Boston College expansion talks take place behind closed doors

The Boston Globe March 4, 2009

>>The task force created to coordinate the BC expansion has violated the Commonwealth’s open meeting law and refuses to release records of the proceedings, raising questions of possible conflicts of interest

Music-sharing case to be streamed online

Wired.com Jan. 14, 2009

>>U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner approved a request to make the trial involving the Recording Industry Association of America and a Boston University student available live on the internet

Proposed identity theft bill will limit access to public information.

The Patriot Ledger Jan. 14, 2009

>>The bill, filed by Rep. Alicea (D – Charlton), will make census data and street lists unavailable to inquiries by the public or press

Michigan

Michigan Legislator, Confused by Media Proliferation, Wants to License Reporters

Fox News May 28, 2010

Former library board member sues officials

Traverse City Record-Eagle April 6, 2009

>>A Michigan man has filed suit alleging that emails between the mayor and city commissioners were excluded from the response to his FOIA request

After text messages ruled public record, former Detroit Mayor sues cell phone company

The Detroit Free Press March 10, 2009

>>The $100 million lawsuit claims release of the text messages led to the loss of his job and irreparable harm to himself and his family

Michigan Judge Rules Against FOIA Request

Education Report Dec. 9, 2008

>>A school spending reform organization, Education Action Group, filed a FOIA for the e-mail records of a teacher’s union president that were written from a publicly-funded e-mail account

Detroit mayor plead the Fifth, 82 times during deposition in newspaper lawsuit

Detroit Free Press Sept. 17, 2008

>>Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination during sworn testimony. The suit was filed to find out details about a secret police whistleblower settlement last year

Judge blocks questioning of Detroit reporters

Detroit Free Press July 17, 2008

>>Attorneys for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and ex-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty are barred from questioning two Detroit Free Press reporters on how they obtained sexually explicit text messages, a judge ruled Thursday

Minnesota

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Minnesota Exit Polling

Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune Oct. 16, 2008

>>In response to a law suit filed by major media organizations, a U.S. judge has ruled that Minnesota’s ban on pollsters operating within 100 feet of polling places is unconstitutional

Minnesota court blocks law that would keep news organizations 100 feet from exit polls

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Oct. 16, 2008

>>A Minn. judge ordered an injunction to block the state law from being enacted after six national news outlets complained it would inhibit election reporting

Law Suit Filed Over Minnesota Poll Access

Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press Sept 30, 2008

>>Six news groups, including The Associated Press, CBS, CNN and three others, have filed a law suit over a Minnesota statue that bars anyone who is not voting from approaching within 100 feet of polling stations. The statue would interfere with attempts of journalists to conduct exit-polling

Missouri

Missouri Health Officials Purge Recent Data; Too Costly to Save, They Claim

stltoday.com August 16, 2010

Montana

Montana’s public records laws are ineffectual

The Clark Fork Chronicle June 10, 2009

Nebraska

University of Nebraska denies student journalist access to top administrators. [Inside Higher Ed, Sept 24, 2008]

>>After multible FOIA requests by The Daily Nebraskan, the University of Nebraska is now denying access to top officials, instead referring them to the school’s public relations office

Nevada

Nevada State Board of Nursing Provides Incomplete Documents After Sun’s Public Record Request

Las Vegas Sun May 8, 2009

>>Weeks after its public records request, the Sun received partial reports on the performances of nursing programs that the Board oversees

Nevada Supreme Court to decide if Judge in OJ Simpson trial improperly handled jury selection documents

The Associated Press March 4, 2009

>>The AP and Las Vegas Review-Journal filed suit, citing Judge Glass’ withholding and redacting of jury selection questionnaires

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Right-to-Know debate continues

The Citizen of Laconia March 29, 2009

>>Legislators to decide if emails constitute public record

New Jersey

New Jersey Drastically Cuts Costs of Providing Documents to the Public

New Jersey Star-Ledger September 16, 2010

Sexual harassment cases now public record

The Star-Ledger March 17, 2009

>>State appeals court makes the ruling and promises victims of harassment won’t be affected

Police Officer Suspended After Cameraman Arrested

New Jersey Star-Ledger Oct 27, 2008

>>A 12-yr veteran of the NJ Special Police was suspended after he arrested and put into a chokehold a cameraman who was filming a demonstration

New York

New York Times Pentagon Papers attorney Floyd Abrams fears indiscriminate postings by Wikileaks may lead to US restrictions on responsible national security reporting

The Wall Street Journal December 29, 2010

Goldman Sachs Hires Law Firm to Silence Critical Blog

The Telegraph April 11, 2009

>>The blog, entitled “Facts about Goldman Sachs” is run by a registered investment advisor in Florida

FBI
release file on Halberstam, but withhold many pages

NY City News Service Nov. 6, 2008

>>New York reporter watched by FBI for over two decades

Ohio

Ohio high court nudges governor to surrender records

Dayton Daily News April 24, 2009

>>Rep. Seth Morgan wins access to public records on school-funding by a narrow victory

Ohio lawmaker sues governor for schools plan

Ohio.com April 6, 2009

>>Rep. Seth Morgan has sued Gov. Ted Strickland concerning the release of documents, including emails, reports and notes, pertaining to the creation of a school-funding plan

Deleted E-mails Still Public Record

Columbus Dispatch Dec. 9. 2008

>>The Ohio Supreme Court rules that deleted e-mails are public if they deal with official business

Oregon

Oregon state pension system fights to keep pensions secret

The Oregonian October 27, 2010

Pennsylvania

Editorial: Shield Law is Critical to Open Government

The Patriot-News September 16, 2009

Citizen fined for questioning politicians

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette March 24, 2009

>>Concerned about how politicians were using taxpayer dollars, Gene Stilp asked the Pa. State Ethics Commission to look into it – and they slapped him with a $500 fine

Anonymous Website Posters Required to Reveal Identities

Beta News Oct. 8, 2008

>>A Pennsylvania website dedicated to county political officials has been ordered by a judge to release the identities of six anonymous posters. This action is the most recent in a long line of defamation complaints involving the City Council and local internet media

Rhode Island

Adoptees in RI may soon get access to birth records

Providence Journal June 15, 2011

Judge orders state of RI to pay ALCU attorney fees in records dispute

The Boston Globe, Oct. 11, 2010

ACLU sues RI town for withholding arrest record

The Providence Journal Dec. 5, 2008

>>The American Civil Liberties Union says the North Smithfield police department illegally denied arrest record of a man charged with using fraudulent identification

ProJo asks for jury questionnaires

The Providence Journal Nov. 26, 2008

>>The paper is asking the high court to share forms filled out by more than 400 prospective jurors to hear the Rhode Island nightclub fire case of 2003, which killed 100 people

“Brainstorming” or illegal closed meeting?

The Providence Journal, Nov. 25, 2008

>>ProJo columnist Edward Fitzpatrick explains why the answer to government secrecy isn’t more secrecy

RI legislator calls for secret meeting of house of representatives

Providence Journal Nov. 21, 2008

>>One legislator thinks the fiscal crisis cannot be solved if the public is allowed access to government deliberations

South Dakota

South Dakota Governor finally signs open government law

The Associated Press March 19, 2009

Texas

Texas high court privatizes public employees DOBs – but state sells DOBs of private citizens to marketing companies

The Dallas Morning News December 3, 2010

Editorial: Citizens Better Served by Open Records

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal September 16, 2009

>>City intends to fight email request

Supreme Court Denies Release of City Council Emails

WDSU.com May, 2009

>>The ruling came with a warning of ethical repercussions

Vermont

ACLU in Vermont sues after state rebuffs public records request

The Boston Globe October 19, 2010

Virginia

Radford, Va. refuses to explain why FOIA docs were blacked-out

The Roanoke Times, Nov. 16, 2008

>>When a reporter from The Roanoke Times asked the city for a copy of the summer months’ FOIA requests, he received heavily redacted documents, without legal explanation

Virginia Board of Elections Rules to Ban Campaign Clothing from Polling Stations

WCAV TV, Charlottesville VA Oct. 14, 2008

>>The American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that a ban on campaign paraphernalia is a violation of the First Amendment

“Designated media area” at Arlington National Cemetery defined, but not much changed

Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, Sept. 29, 2008

>>Under pressure, the Army solidifies rights of family members of the deceased to grant or deny media access to funerals

Washington

City council meetings in Everett streaming online in fall 2009

Heraldnet.com June 1, 2009

>>Going virtual means easier access to government planning for city residents

Obama’s deputy pick questioned

Komonews.com March 22, 2009

>>Ron Sims left open government fines when he left for D.C.

WA court: public records can be kept from inmates

Oregonlive.com July 3, 2008

Washington D.C.

Transparency pushed aside again: SEC wants to do its policing in secret

USA Today September 16, 2010

D.C. Judge Resorts to Prior Restraint, AND Declares First Amendment Concerns to be Secondary

The National Law Journal July 26, 2010

Ruling expands review board’s access to Seattle police files

Seattle Times October 9, 2009

Obama’s AG introduces “a presumption of openness”

USA Today March 19, 2009

>>Holder reverses Bush-era FOIA guidelines

Ombudsman scolds Post newsroom for taking a pass on open government issues

The Washington Post March 15, 2009

National Security Archives names FBI worst agency for FOIA Performance

George Washington University March 13, 2009

>>66% of the time, FBI “can’t locate” records in question

Groups call for more open presidency, resuscitated FIOA

The Raw Story, Nov. 12, 2008

>>After eight years of increased government secrecy, more than 60 groups are calling for Obama to reverse the trend

Bloomberg News wants Federal Reserve information

Bloomberg News Nov. 7, 2008

Hotel bombarded for posting McCain/Palin signs

Washington Post, Oct. 18, 2008

>>The D.C.-area hotel suffers fierce objection to the signs, with local leaders calling for a boycott, inciting a First Amendment debate.

White House may keep documents in e-mail flap private, judge rules

The Washington Post, June 17, 2008

West Virginia

Newspaper gains access to County Commision emails

The Journal, September 25, 2009

Wisconsin

Public Employees Seeks to Remain Anonymous

Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Nov. 29, 2008

>>Wisconsin papers file suit against state employee union for refusing to release the names of workers.