Open Records Laws

Deleting Derogatory Facebook Postings

Today’s burning question: Can I block someone from posting on our FD Facebook page, or at least hide the comments from public view, because they have been posting derogatory comments ? Answer: yes and no. Government cannot censor members of the public. Government censorship violates the 1st Amendment.

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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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