NFOIC's State FOIA Friday for July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012 2:09 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:

Reverse surveillance: ACLU-NJ’s police tape app lets you secretly record any video interactions with cops

In a move to help guard civilians against police officers who may abuse their power, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, or ACLU-NJ, released the Police Tape app this week, enabling regular citizens to secretly record or video the interactions they have with cops.

The civil rights organization rolled out the app in time for the July 4 holiday. It said this is because altercations often happen between citizens and seasonal police at the shore during the summer vacation season.

Visit The International Business Times for the rest.

Open records request partially granted

The Dyersville Commercial received some clarification on its June 12 open records request concerning the “Citizens of Dyersville” Facebook page created by Dyersville City Council Member Molly Evers.

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In a letter to the Commercial dated July 2 (which is being run on the editorial page in this week’s edition), Evers states that “Iowa law provides for the redaction of those citizens’ identities, when it is reasonable to assume they would have been discouraged from making comments had they known their comments would be subject to public examination.”

Visit Dyersville Commercial for the rest.

N.J. Supreme Court: Law school clinics’ case records are not public documents

TRENTON — The developer of an outlet mall in Sussex County can’t get records from a Rutgers University law clinic that represented two groups seeking to block its construction, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

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The ruling says the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic, a training ground for Rutgers law students that handles cases for little or no cost, is not subject to the state’s public records law.

Visit NJ.com for the rest.

Indiana officials who deny access to public records now face fines

Indiana government officials who intentionally violate public access laws now face fines of $100 for the first offense and $500 after that under a new law that took effect July 1.

The law, approved during the 2012 legislative session, was an effort to create a way to penalize those who ignore open-government laws that are already on the books.

Visit The Courier & Press for the rest.