In this Legal Question of the Week, SPLC experts share guidance on how to respond if your student newsroom receives an open records request.
Tag: open records
Lawsuit against UNC for the release of campus sexual assault records officially ends in favor of student journalists
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled University of North Carolina must hand over student, faculty, and staff rape, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct records requested by the university's student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.
Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime
This opinion piece reflects the point of view of the writer. Cameren Boatner is a reporting intern for the Student Press Law Center. Students have a right to know when a crime occurs in their backyard – especially when the crime is sexual violence. But a law intended to protect victims is leaving the public… Continue reading Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime
Access to public information restricted as schools move online
Many schools across the country are failing to comply with Sunshine Laws during the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it even more difficult for student journalists to cover the news. Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said the coronavirus isn’t a legally acceptable reason for universities to withhold public information… Continue reading Access to public information restricted as schools move online
When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?
Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Am I required to explain why I want a particular record when submitting an open records request? A: Almost always, states and the federal government FOI laws make clear that the motivation behind an open records request is irrelevant.… Continue reading When I request records, do I have to explain why I want them?
California high school reporters fight for access to sealed documents, controversial video
Student reporters in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District are pushing back against the decision to seal court documents containing a controversial video made by a fellow student.
A legal victory for the student press in Kentucky’s ongoing battle for open records
A circuit court judge ruled Oct. 13 that the state Attorney General has the right to privately review public records on sexual assault at Kentucky State University to determine whether the school is required to release them to student reporters.
Judge releases records in Krakauer case, provides narrow ruling in Montana open records lawsuit
The Montana University System must now release sexual assault records to author Jon Krakauer in a long-standing legal battle, Montana District Judge Mike Menahan ruled Krakauer will have access to the majority of the documents asked for, with names redacted.
Wisconsin university and state DOJ drop FOIA case after accidentally releasing unredacted records
A Winnebago County Circuit Court judge ruled against a professor who tried to stop the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh from releasing his personnel records to student journalist Alex Nemec.
What Title IX reform could mean for student journalists
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced last week that the Trump administration plans to revise Obama-era federal guidelines for colleges and universities on handling sexual misconduct. Here's how the current system affects student reporting and where there is room for potential change.