The U.S. Government Is Suing People For Requesting Public Records

The U.S. government is suing citizens requesting public records all over the country, violating the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). The government is stating that it is in “good faith” to take away more of our rights, intimidate us and delay FOIA requests, thus challenging the notion of transparency and, in turn, the Open Government Initiative.

Throughout the U.S. government, a growing number of organizations, school districts, municipalities, and state agencies have filed lawsuits against citizens for making FOIA requests to obtain public information. The governmental bodies argue that they are doing so to let the court decide a matter that isn’t quite clear legally such as when the documents may be shielded by an exemption or privacy laws. But that’s causing problems, and becoming a new way for governments to hide information from taxpayers and even news organizations or individual journalists.

The practice, although highly ridiculed and uncommon, has been going on for years according to Columbia Journalism Review.

However, recently the Associated Press reported three different cases where the government sued citizens in the last year.

In the first case, an Oregon parent Kim Sordyl and journalist Beth Slovic sought details about Portland Public School employees on paid leave. The school board responded by suing them both, arguing that the records are exempt from disclosure due to the personal privacy of employees.

The second case involved two retired teachers, Dr. James Finney and Mike Deshotels, who were sued by Louisiana Department of Education for trying to get information on the school’s enrollment data relating to economically disadvantaged and English proficiency students. The two eventually ended up winning the case in a settlement but not before fighting for their rights in court to even see the data and spending $3,000 in legal fees.

Finally, the third case highlighting this abusive practice that the publication mentioned was Western Kentucky University suing two newspapers. The University filed a lawsuitagainst its paper, the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky campus newspaper, Kentucky Kernel, which sought records related to allegations of sexual harassment and assault involving its faculty. That story titled: “In The Dark: Records shed light on sexual misconduct at Kentucky u... went on to win the University of Georgia’s Betty Gage Holland Award for excellence in college journalism and using a FOIA request to bring the questionable abuse to light.

“It’s appropriate to say it’s troubling the university (WKU) is suing its own newspaper for practicing good journalism,” attorney Michael Abate told the WKU paper, the College Heights Herald. “Even if they have a valid basis for withholding information, they still have to submit redacted documents.”

In 2015 a New Jersey Judge Michael Winkelstein ruled in favor of Harry Scheeler Jr. who was seeking Hamilton Township police surveillance video and was subsequently sued for his request, Columbia Journalism Review reported. In New Jersey, the state has a law called the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) in place of a Freedom of Information request. The judge ruled that such practices of governments counter-suing citizens was the antithesis of OPRA.

Winkelstein found that,

A government lawsuit against requestors subjects them to involuntary litigation with all of its concomitant financial, temporal, and emotional trimmings. A public policy that gives a government agency the right to sue a person who asks for a government document is the antithesis of the OPRA and common-law policy of providing citizens with a means of access to public information to keep government activities open and hold the government accountable.

Earlier this year in Michigan, the state House voted overwhelmingly 108-0 in favor of a billthat would make it illegal for government agencies to sue citizens who request public records.

The legislation was in response to a local county’s lawsuit against a newspaper that was seeking documents on two employees running for sheriff. A judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying the county had to approve or deny the request.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Klint Kesto, called the lawsuit “a backdoor channel to delay and put pressure on the requester” that circumvents the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

“Government shouldn’t file a lawsuit and go on offense. Either approve the request or deny it,” he said. “This shouldn’t be happening anywhere in the country.”

It’s troubling that so many of these requests have resulted in lawsuits against citizens who have a right to know public information under the Freedom of Information Act.

http://www.dcclothesline.com/2017/09/20/the-u-s-government-is-suing...

Views: 56

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

(Now that's more like it!)
 
The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

(Wow!)
 
A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.

(O.M.G.!!!)
 
A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.

(Creepy - .......I'm still not over the pig.)
 
Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
 
(Don't try this at home; maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.

(Honey, I'm home . What the...?)
 
The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.

(30 minutes. Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)
 
The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
 
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)
 
Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
 
(I still can't believe that pig, ...quality over quantity.)
 
Butterflies taste with their feet.

(Something I always wanted to know.)
 
The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

(Hmmmmmm.......)
 
Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.

(If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)
 
Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
 
(Okay, so that would be a good thing.) 
 
A cat's urine glows under a black light.
 
(I wonder how much the government paid to figure that out.)
 
An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
 
(I know some people like that.)
 
Starfish have no brains.

(I know some people like that, too.)
 
Polar bears are left-handed.

(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)
 
Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
 
(hey, what about that pig? Do the dolphins know about the pig?)
 
Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread these crazy facts and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to, maybe even a chuckle.

(....and God, do we love that pig!)

Image result for rolling on the floor laughing hysterically animation

Frank, what do you do in your spare time, lol:*))?

The word "No" has been replaced, by "I deserve.................", the direct result of the takers taking over from the doers. more or less.

RSS

LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by Al Goodwyn

Political Cartoons by AF BrancoPolitical Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

ALERT ALERT

SICK: New Jersey Awarded $3.8 Million In Financial Aid To Illegal Aliens


 A local news report revealed that the state of New Jersey awarded $3.8 million in financial aid to illegal immigrants during the 2018-2019 school year.

According to a report from NJ.com, the state of New Jersey gave $3.8 million in financial aid to 749 illegal immigrant students in the last academic year. More than a quarter of the funding went to 328 illegal immigrants that attend Rutgers University.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a law last year that allowed illegal immigrants to apply for financial aid. Prior to the signing, illegal immigrants were permitted to apply to pay in-state tuition at public universities but they were not eligible for financial aid.

Murphy, who supports the spending, hit back at Republican critics by arguing that giving financial aid to illegal immigrants is compatible with American values.

“I’d even invite any of those folks who have that attitude, beginning with our president, to come on into this room and allow me or any of us to say, ‘This is the United States of America,’” Murphy said at the time.

David J. Socolow, executive director of the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, defended the state’s decision to offer financial aid to illegal immigrants.

“This financial assistance offers these New Jersey students a life-changing opportunity,” Socolow said in a brief comment.“The successes of these first 513 students, who are now attending county colleges, state colleges and universities, and independent institutions around the state, will have a positive impact on countless additional lives.”

According to the report, there is currently no limit on the amount of illegal immigrant students that are permitted to receive financial aid from the state of New Jersey. State lawmakers forecast that they will spend approximately $5 million on financial aid for illegal immigrants each year.

Video: Flashback: NJ Governor signs bill allowing free tuition for illegal immigrants

© 2019   Created by Steve - Ning Creator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service