Decisions by the Mayor on D.C. FOIA Appeals Now More Accessible

A decade of mayoral opinions on appeals of agency denials of public records requested under FOIA (2006-2016) are now available online. See here. (The D.C. Office of Open Government also includes a link in its FOIA Resources list.)

D.C. law allows any requester who is denied a record to appeal to the mayor. (The requester can file suit in Superior Court whether or not the requester uses the mayoral appeal option.) Continue…

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New York: Shorter FOIL appeal process passes Senate

ALBANY–A bill shortening the time a state agency can take to appeal a Freedom of Information Law decision passed the Senate on Monday, three months after passing the Assembly.

The measure, sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, a Republican from Western New York, and Assemblyman David Buchwald, a Westchester Democrat, passed both houses unanimously.

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Illinois FOIA appeal process plagued by years-long backlog

After the scandal that sent former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to prison, lawmakers adopted a raft of reforms that included creating a referee to intervene when bureaucrats reject citizens’ requests for government records.

Five years later, the “public access counselor” in the attorney general’s office has yet to respond to more than 2,800 appeals of Freedom of Information Act requests for information that a government agency deemed secret, according to an analysis of records obtained by The Associated Press.

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OCOG to support Enquirer in major open government cases

From Ohio Newspaper Association:   The board of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government has voted to support appeals in two Cincinnati-area cases involving Enquirer Media.

One case involves access to 911 calls and the other involves a Hamilton County juvenile court judge who was found in contempt after barring a reporter from her courtroom and attempting to ban publication or broadcast of the alleged offenders’ name.

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Champaign won’t make further appeals of FOIA ruling

From News-Gazette.com:  City Attorney Fred Stavins said on Tuesday night that the city does not plan to appeal an appellate court's decision that it must turn over text messages to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request The News-Gazette filed in 2011.

Stavins said there are "very few documents" to produce, but the city will comply with a ruling that text messages sent and received on a council member's private device during a city council meeting are public records.

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Will there be greater transparency in Bradley Manning’s court martial?

Opinion from Firedoglake:

Another pretrial motion hearing occurred in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade today. During a recess in proceedings, a military legal matter expert opened a yellow envelope and pulled out physical copies of a ruling issued and read in court by the judge.

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