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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Calif. bill to relieve losing FOIA plaintiffs

A California bill recently signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will relieve losing FOIA plaintiffs from having to pay attorneys' fees, the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press reported. Fees could only be awarded if the court decides that the lawsuit was frivolous and without merit. The bill was passed in an effort to "curb the chilling effect that can accompany the assignment of extensive fees to plaintiffs who unsuccessfully sue the government to enforce the California Public Records Act." The law takes effect Jan. 1.
A California bill that will relieve losing plaintiffs in Freedom of Information Act lawsuits of having to pay attorney's fees passed the state's legislature last month. It is now awaiting a signature from the governor.

Under the proposed law, governments that prevail on an "anti-SLAPP" motion in FOIA cases will not be able to collect attorney's fees for claims brought against them in good faith. Fees could only be awarded in limited situations, such as when the court decides the action is frivolous and without merit. The state anti-SLAPP law allows defendants to have frivolous suits dismissed early.
More here.
Also, New Calif. law limits cost in public records fight, San Jose Mercury News.

1 comment:

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