NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for March 8, 2013

Access Freedom of InformationA 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. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.


Supreme Court rules against Scioto County records request

The Ohio Supreme Court batted down a public-records request by a Portsmouth businessman seeking deed and other information from Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman. By a 6-1 decision yesterday, the court ruled that Opperman did not have to give Portsmouth real-estate appraiser Robert Gambill a copy of the county’s electronic database of deed information and aerial photos of all Scioto County property. The court said that by offering Gambill a copy provided that he pay a $2,000 fee, the engineer had met requirements in the Ohio Public Records Act.

Visit The Columbus Dispatch for the rest.

Texas lawmakers entering 'Twitter age' with Open Meetings upgrade

AUSTIN — Attorney General Greg Abbott endorsed a proposal Thursday that would free up the state's elected officials to discuss public business electronically, provided they do so in open, online forums. The measure, filed by state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, is only the latest attempt to update Texas' public information laws for the Information Age.

Visit for the rest.

Residents fight town records fees

MIDDLESEX, N.C. — Two outspoken residents say they’re the reason town officials now charge up to $26 per hour for copies of public records. Brandie Holt and Robert Johnson said their requests for information on park maintenance led Middlesex commissioners to begin charging a service fee for records requests that take more than a half-hour to fulfill. An attorney says the town policy may violate state public records laws.

Visit The Wilson Times for the rest.

N.M. legislature to hold hearing on public records policy

Legislative leaders have spent the session quietly drafting a controversial but innocuous-sounding rule about “legislative information.” Few legislators, outside of leadership, know about this rule, which is the only agenda item for a rarely-convened committee that will meet tomorrow morning. House Minority Leader Don Bratton and Speaker of the House Ken Martinez dropped House Concurrent Resolution 1 on Monday. … HCR 1 makes the Legislative Council Service “the custodian of the records of the legislature.” LCS will fulfill “requests under the Inspection of Public Records Acts.” The bill also says lawmakers have constitutional “privileges and immunities” and “exercise authority collectively.”

Visit Santa Fe Reporter for the rest.

ACLU of Utah files public records requests for info on police use of military weapons, tactics

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's affiliate of the ACLU joined 22 other chapters around the country in launching an investigation into local police use of military technology and tactics. The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has filed public records requests with 19 police agencies in the state, including the Utah National Guard. The requests ask for information about how they are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics.

Visit The Republic for the rest.