Public paperwork belong to the general public 

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We shouldn’t must say this: Public paperwork belong to the general public. That is very true when the paperwork relate to the spending of public funds.

With this rationale in thoughts, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court docket, for the primary time, dominated on Tuesday {that a} county commissioners’ group acted in “unhealthy religion” when it didn’t fulfill a request for paperwork beneath the state’s Freedom of Entry Act. Due to the willpower of unhealthy religion, the group was ordered to pay affordable legal professional’s charges for the litigation of this case that started greater than two years in the past.

The ruling strengthens Maine’s open data legislation by clarifying that when authorities actors dishonestly reply to a data request, these actions can represent “unhealthy religion.” Whereas the ruling is optimistic information for these, together with journalists, in search of entry to public paperwork, many entities don’t have the assets to hunt these paperwork by an extended court docket battle. As a substitute, public entities ought to adjust to the necessities and timelines included within the state’s FOAA legislation.