NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for August 10, 2012

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:

Dewey Beach (Del.) citizens question legality of development vote

DEWEY BEACH — Dewey Beach Town Council’s repeated violations of open meeting laws has prompted citizens to consider whether a major development in the small town was legally approved. A July 13 opinion, issued by Deputy Attorney General Kent Walker, said council violated Freedom of Information Act laws on at least 28 occasions since January 2011. In the opinion, Walker said, “…all actions taken at those meetings were unlawful and may be voidable in litigation.”

Visit for the rest.

Public Toilets and Open Data: A Love Story

We’ve all been there. Strolling an urban shopping district or visiting an outdoor festival when nature calls. You begin scanning the landscape for your options: Duck into a business you haven’t patronized and risk being turned away, or keep walking, fingers crossed for an expeditious solution to appear like an oasis in the desert. Cities embracing transparency and open government are finding that publishing data sets on public resources are bringing about many new apps for public use. It seems logical to assume there’s an … uh … appetite for information on public bathrooms, right? You’re in luck if you’re outside North America. In this case, the U.S. isn’t No. 1.

Visit Government Technology for the rest.

Judge Rules UNC football coach Davis’ cell phone records not public record

CHAPEL HILL – Former UNC head football coach Butch Davis’ personal cell phone records are not public record according to a decision released by Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Thursday. Judge Manning ruled to allow a protective order that prevents the release of the phone records. … Manning did put conditions on the protective order, including allowing lawyers from both sides to review the records in question. He did not say whether the records, once reviewed, will be made public.

Visit for the rest.

Fairfax and Arlington reject requests by Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability

Mount Vernon — The Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc. received a qualified “No” from the Fairfax County Police to four FOIA requests the community organization sent last month. A fifth FOIA request to the Arlington County police did provide some FOIA-related information. …

The CCPA lists the following organizations which support their proposal to establish a Fairfax County police citizens oversight board appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and/or organizations who support the CCPA’s position to revise the Virginia FOIA to provide for access to police criminal incident reports: NAACP, Fairfax County Branch- Unit 7066; National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement; National Black Police Association; Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; ACLU of Virginia; National Lawyers Guild; Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

Visit The Connection Newspapers for the rest.

Government files further briefing in Southern District of New York FOIA cases

A new filing yesterday, in parallel FOIA actions regarding the targeted killing program: the government’s “Combined Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment and Reply in Further Support of Government’s Motion for Summary Judgment.” Before the Southern District of New York are two separate but related FOIA cases regarding drones and targeted killing—one brought by the New York Times and two of its reporters, and another by the ACLU and an affiliate organization.

Visit Lawfare Blog for the rest.

New England First Amendment Institute offers hands-on FOI, investigative training Sept. 30 to Oct. 2

Fellows selected for the 2012 edition of the New England First Amendment Institute in Dedham, Mass., can expect hands-on instruction in FOI law and investigative reporting techniques delivered by an all-star faculty. “We took everything we learned from our first year and integrated it into a more hands-on approach to learning for this year’s program,” said Rosanna Cavanagh, executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. She also pointed to a Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 program faculty studded with Pulitzer Prize, Emmy and Peabody Award winners and top media law and First Amendment attorneys.

Visit New England First Amendment Institute for the rest.