NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for August 3, 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:

Protesters request public records on use of force at Burlington protest

Activists who say they were repeatedly shot with rubber pellets during a confrontation with police last Sunday at the Hilton Hotel have filed a public records request with the Burlington Police Department. … Jonathan Leavitt, one of the organizers of protests coinciding with the 36th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, stood silently beside the lawyer for most of the press conference. In a prepared statement, however, Leavitt stated that he was “walking away with my hands up” when he was shot with rubber munitions that left 19 bruises.

Visit for the rest.

South Dakota, New Mexico governments get more open

Open government is gaining ground in two states – South Dakota and New Mexico. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has announced the creation of a new open government task force in his state. In New Mexico a court has ruled that citizens should have access to contractors records.

Visit CivSource for the rest.

Appellate court: Florida electronic property records official even if erroneously erased

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appellate court on Thursday said electronic property records are official once they are filed even if later erased by mistake. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld the foreclosure by First City Bank of Florida on a Walton County lot that had been sold to two different buyers by Bluewater Real Estate Investments LLC.

Visit The Republic for the rest.

Attorney no-show puts West Virginia FOIA lawsuit in jeopardy

CHARLESTON – As a result of his attorney’s failure to show for recent hearing, a Clay County man’s Freedom of Information lawsuit is on the brink of being dismissed. Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles E. King, Jr. denied a motion by Michael Boggs to amend his suit against the Clay County Business Development Authority. The reason King denied the motion was due to the failure of Boggs’ attorney, David R. Karr, Jr., to appear at the July 24 hearing to argue why.

Visit West Virginia Record for the rest.

First Amendment Foundation (Fl.) honors Republican state senator

State Sen. Mike Fasano has been selected for the Pete Weitzel/Friend of the First Amendment Foundation awarded annually in Florida to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the cause of open government. … Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, said in a letter to Fasano that his selection for the award was based on his “commitment to ensuring that the people’s interests were represented in the Florida Senate and that the legislative process remained open and accessible to its people.”

Visit for the rest.

DeKalb (Ill.) County Board contemplates transparency

SYCAMORE – A recent D-minus grade in transparency given to DeKalb County by the Illinois Policy Institute did not sit well with some County Board members and officials, and changes could be coming. … The county had low scores in categories such as employee salary and benefit information and Freedom of Information Act standards. … [T]he IPI said the site should list salary and benefits on an individual basis and have clearer information on how to contact FOIA officers.

Visit The Daily Chronicle for the rest.

Massachusetts Division of Open Government: Barnstable Town Council violated Open Meeting Law

Reactions to the state’s determination that the town council violated the open meeting law twice last year were as divided as the board from which they sprang. “There were some technical violations” is how council President Fred Chirigotis referred to the findings at the July 31 council/manager press conference.

Visit The Barnstable Patriot for the rest.