NFOIC's State FOIA Friday for July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012 3:55 PM

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

San Diego County supervisors poised to uphold open meeting law, despite state action

San Diego County supervisors are expected to affirm their allegiance to open government Tuesday in response to the state suspending some requirements of the Brown Act as a means of cutting costs. The Ralph M. Brown Act, enacted in 1953, required open, publicized meetings and guaranteed the public could participate. Last month, the Legislature agreed to suspend for three years a requirement that local governments post agendas 72 hours in advance of meetings.

Visit Ramona Sentinel for the rest.

NJ Supreme Court: Rutgers U. Board violated Sunshine Law

The Rutgers Board of Governors violated the state’s Open Public Meetings Act by failing to inform the public of issues it planned to discuss in a closed session at a 2008 meeting, and for improperly discussing public matters about the athletics program in closed session, the state’s highest court ruled today. The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision makes it clear that government bodies must provide the public with an agenda that describes issues to be discussed to the extent known, rather than merely making generic references about what might be discussed.

Visit Planet Princeton for the rest.

South Dakota lawmaker protests $350 bill for public records request, says amount shuts out public access

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota state lawmaker is protesting the $350 cost of getting records of how much the city of Sioux Falls is paying a private law firm. An assistant Sioux Falls city attorney says the cost represents the time it takes to black out information in the bills that's protected by attorney-client privilege. Hansen asked for three years' worth of records.

Visit The Republic for the rest.

Alaska proposes new public records regulations

JUNEAU, Alaska -- The state has proposed new regulations pertaining to public interest fee waivers or reduction in costs for public records. The proposal would allow for a fee waiver or reduction if the requestor establishes, and an agency finds, the records are likely to significantly contribute to the understanding of state government activities.

Visit The Sacramento Bee for the rest.

Brewster County (Tx.) Judge holds press conference on public records

Brewster County Judge Val Beard walked local media and several Alpine City Council members through the process of accessing public records last week at the county courthouse. The meeting began the same place all Class A and B Misdemeanors (jailable offenses with fines of up to $4,000) start — County Attorney Steve Houston’s office. Beard explained that once an arrest is made, an officer will fill out an offense report and bring it to the office for further review, where the report will be made into the appropriate files.

Visit Alpine Avalanche for the rest.

Delaware Attorney General Office finds that Dewey Beach Town Council disregarded opening meeting laws

DEWEY BEACH -- The state's Attorney General Office has found that the Dewey Beach Town Council disregarded opening meeting laws under the Freedom of Information Act for at least 26 meetings from Jan. 15, 2011, through April 14, 2012. In the decision dated July 13, Deputy Attorney General Kent Walker specifies meetings held on Nov. 11 and 18 had agendas that lacked intent on holding an executive session. The town also failed to give agenda notice of major issues to be discussed.

Visit The Daily Times for the rest.

More public documents restricted in Arapahoe County (Colo.) case

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- The public will get fewer details about theater shooting suspect James Holmes, after Arapahoe County Judge William Sylvester ordered the University of Colorado Denver to deny release of what are normally public records about the former CU graduate student. The judge’s order cites numerous media requests for emails from Holmes’ university email account. CALL7 Investigator Keli Rabon requested access to copies of the suspect’s emails and other records related to the suspect on Monday.

Visit KMGH Denver for the rest.