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Thursday, February 22, 2024

SUNSHINE IN FLORIDA GOVERNMENT? OBSERVATIONS IN SUNSHINE WEEK 2023.


“We share a typical mission to advertise transparency in authorities.”

American Oversight, in its quite a few EMails to the Florida Division of Training, beginning on Might 4, 2022.

Tallahasee_supreme_court_920 Inside Florida .org(The Florida Supreme Court docket / 920 Inside Florida)

American Oversight is a nonprofit group that made greater than eight (8) requests for public entry to non-exempt public data held by the Florida Division of Training.  They made extra requests than that, however they sued the DOE for not complying with respect to these 8 underneath the Florida Structure and Florida’s Public Data Act.  Right here is their grievance:  Obtain American Oversight v. Florida Dep’t of Training Criticism to Implement Public Data Act filed March 16 2023 (2nd Jud. Cir. Leon County Fla.).

American Oversight’s public data requests are hooked up as Reveals to their Criticism and you may learn them for your self.

They bought fed up, apparently, and complained about DOE’s enterprise mannequin of “a demonstrated historical past of delayed responses to American Oversight’s public data requests.”  Id. at 6 n.7.  So that they sued for higher entry, or in lots of instances entry within the first place, to the general public data they requested on Might 4, 2022; January 12, 2023, and February 15, 2023.  They despatched observe up EMails on their earlier requests on January 25, 2023 and bought crickets, nothing, Nada, Radio Silence from the present Florida Division of Training.  Lastly, they repeated their public data requests (and will have added some) after they despatched their public data request on February 15, 2023.  “Thus far, DOE has failed to supply a single file that’s conscious of any of the eight requests at concern on this Criticism.”  Id. at 20, ¶ 5.

No matter how the American Oversight v. Fla. Dep’t of Training lawsuit seems, in a call cited within the Criticism (id. at 20), the Florida Supreme Court docket beforehand held:

The one problem permitted by the Act on the time a request for data is made is the assertion of a statutory exemption pursuant to part 119.07.  The one individual with the ability to lift such a problem is the custodian. 

Tribune Co. v. Cannella, 458 So. 2nd 1075, 1078-79 (Fla. 1984).  There may be after all no statutory exemption pursuant to part 119.07 right here, parenthetically, and naturally there was no problem right here, allegedly simply delay and silence and incomplete responses.

Additional, the regulation has been clear for almost 40 years, at the very least till the 2023 Florida DOE got here alongside, that it’s as much as the Florida Legislature to exempt data from public disclosure, not the DOE (or anybody else):

The legislature has positioned the books on the desk; solely it has the ability to change that scenario.

    We subsequently maintain that the legislative scheme of the Public Data Act has preempted the regulation referring to any delay in producing data for inspection. The one delay permitted by the Act is the restricted affordable time allowed the custodian to retrieve the file and delete these parts of the file the custodian asserts are exempt.

Tribune Co., 458 So. 2nd at 1079 (emphasis added).

Once more, no matter how the American Oversight v. Fla. Dep’t of Training case could also be determined, there’s a query for Florida’s chief regulation enforcement officer, the Legal professional Normal of the State of Florida:  Is the Florida Supreme Court docket’s choice nonetheless the regulation of Florida?  Or in your judgment, Normal Ashley Moody, does the Florida DOE — or anybody else — now have the ability to change that scenario?

On this final day of Sunshine Week, this text will probably be revealed each on Claims and Points Weblog and on Claims and Unhealthy Religion Regulation Weblog.

Please learn the disclaimer.  ©2023 Dennis J. Wall.  All rights reserved.

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