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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Supreme Court Decides Another Case In Favor of Open Gov't

The state Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in RHA v. City of Des Moines today. The case involved the one-year statute of limitations for a Public Records Act case and what it takes to start the clock ticking. The Supreme Court ruled that an agency must do all the things required to claim an exemption from disclosure--that is, provide a withholding index--before the clock starts ticking.

Allied Law Group's Greg Overstreet filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of the state's newspaper associations. He also drafted the Attorney General's Model Rules for Public Records, which were cited and quoted by the court in its decision.

The newest justice on the court, Justice Deborah Stephens, wrote the opinion. EFF posts this blog entry on the newest justice and open government.

Justice Stephens was appointed about a year ago by Gov. Gregoire. This blog has been critical of Gov. Gregoire's open-government track record. However, in all fairness, the Governor made an outstanding decision to appoint Justice Stephens.