Open Records Laws

Mass Town Challenges Open Meetings Violation

The Town of Southampton, Massachusetts, embroiled in a wrongful termination lawsuit by former deputy chief, is challenging an attorney general’s office determination that it violated the state’s open meetings law. The violation allegedly occurred when the town’s Selectmen met in executive session to "indirectly affect the employment status" of then Deputy Chief Kyle Miltimore.

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Firefighter Seeks Public Records on Legal Costs of Privatization Battle

An Illinois firefighter has filed a public records suit in hopes of exposing how much local officials in a neighboring village have spent on efforts to privatize their fire department. Scott Moran, a lieutenant with the Homewood Fire Department, alleges that the Village of North Riverside refused his request for public records showing how much the village has spent on legal fees associated with hiring a private fire department.

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Iowa City Files Public Records Suits Over Dispatch Center

A dispute in Iowa over a county dispatch center has led to two public records suits being filed by the City of Keokuk. One of the suits names the Lee County Fire Chiefs Association and its president, Neil Gathers, while the other names the City of West Point and its leadership.

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Public Records and Electronic Communications

Today’s burning question: If a firefighter’s personal device such as a cellphone connects to a wireless network provided by a governmental agency, is the information transmitted automatically subject to the state’s public records law? Answer: Whether an electronic communication is a public record has nothing to do with how it is transmitted.

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NYC Firefighters Sue Over Public Records Violations

The president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York, IAFF Local 94 has filed suit against the City of New York and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito using the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to publically allege that she has been “stone-walling” consideration of a pension related resolution.

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RI Fire District Settles Public Records Suit for $1500

A Rhode Island fire district has agreed to pay a $1500 fine for violating the state’s public records law. The Manville Fire District was accused of failing to respond to a public records request back in 2014. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed suit against Manville to enforce the requirements of the APRA.

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Fire Departments in NJ and Maryland Settle Suits

Settlements involving two fire departments are in the fire law news today. In New Jersey, a sexual harassment suit against the Franklin Township Fire District No. 3 has been settled. In Maryland, a wrongful death suit brought by the family of a 17-year old who died at a fire department sponsored carnival has been settled.

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