One of my favorite TV shows in the ‘80s was the “People’s Court,” where average citizens argued small cases in front of feisty Judge Joseph Wapner. The show inspired an entire genre of quasi-real courtroom programs that continue to populate the airwaves today with the likes of Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mathis and several others.
As for the “People’s Court,” I can still picture emcee Doug Llewelyn advising viewers not to take the law into their own hands. “You take ‘em to court,” he’d say.
And decades later, that’s our approach at the Better Government Association in disputes with public agencies over the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
Citizens and media outlets typically haggle with government officials over the interpretation of FOIA when their requests are denied. Some adjust their submissions or ask the Illinois Attorney General to step in or simply give up. Continue>>>