Brechner report
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090012/00146
 Material Information
Title: Brechner report
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, College of Journalism and communications, University of Florida
Publisher: Brechner Center for Freedom of Information
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: February 2012
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00090012:00146


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BRECHNERREPORTTHE Volume 36, Number 2 A monthly report of mass media law in Florida Published by The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida February 2012 TALLAHASSEE Legislation introduced in the 2012 legislative session would make it clear that all records, including emails sent and received by records, even if the person has not yet private company providing While the investigation has yet to wrap up, documents released so far showed that COURTS emails from both an iPad and smartphone Scott administration said it is supporting the bill to avoid Source: The Miami Herald Bill would make transition emails public record TALLAHASSEE Florida needs an additional 71 trial court judges and Appeals in Lakeland, due to an increase in mortgage and civil cases and demands on staff due to a growth in the number of The request for more judgeships 23 in circuit court heels of a $2 billion shortfall in projected Our judges continue to absorb the work previously performed by magistrates, law clerks, case managers, and other supplemental support staff lost in the budget reductions of the last several years, the justices Most of these positions provided direct case management, legal research, Chief judges have advised us that the loss of support staff translates into slower case processing times, crowded dockets, and long waits to access judicial increase in workload, the courts have also been hit economically as there has been a rely heavily upon for funding, the justices Source: Sunshinestatenews.com Activist group sues for primate research records Florida has been ordered to comply with a Wildwood-based animal rights activist Marino, founder of Negotiation is Over provide records relating to 33 primates mentioned in a federal inspection report, The Gainesville Sun Marino made the request for records The university initially denied the request, citing a state law protecting In ordering the records released, Circuit Judge Martha Ann Lott found that the RECORDS ACCESS Proposal shows budget reduction for Fla. courts public records exemption applies only to UF will have the opportunity at a later hearing to show that the information falls under another public records exemption Marino said she planned to use the records to continue a campaign against Source: The Gainesville Sun Scott names new public records director Public Services, took over as director of Before joining the Scott administration, and Public Services at the Florida where she held the position as the primary The Miami Herald reported in an earlier story that the position became to run for circuit court clerk in Martin Source: The Miami Herald


Senate is once again considering a bill to allow cameras to videotape oral Judiciary and Oversight Committee 2 The Brechner Report February 2012 COURTS CONTINUED Justices assess role of damages under Privacy Act Group disputes Manatee commission prayers Supreme Court heard oral arguments involving whether a plaintiff can recover for emotional damages under the Privacy Act when government agencies exchange information that could cause severe emotional distress to the person about The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently held in Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper that a plaintiff could be compensated for emotional injury under the Privacy Act even though he suffered no monetary The case arose after government agencies exchanged information regarding Cooper did not disclose the fact that he is HIV positive to the Federal Aviation Administration in his application for a he had previously provided that information to the Social Security Administration upon application The FAA became privy to the information when the two agencies Pilot, a government initiative meant to The lawsuit before the 9th Circuit focused on the dispute regarding the the Privacy Act, which protects the personal information in systems and allows the decision could have a potential impact on the types of information government Source: RCFP.org Congress mulls bill requiring cameras in high court ALACHUA COUNTY The Florida informal meetings were not a violation of County Attorney the meetings, which date back to the late 1990s, have been held as an opportunity to discuss county issues and build consensus The Gainesville Sun State Attorney Bill Cervone said that Act of 2011, which would require open Court to be televised, unless a majority of the justices voted that doing so would constitute a violation of due process rights Similar bills to come before Congress in previous legislative sessions have died SAO: Informal meetings did not violate Sunshine Law the investigation and consulted with Pat before coming to the conclusion that the meetings complied with There is nothing illegal or improper about informal meetings, said Cervone in a statement, reported the Sun. They can serve a useful purpose in allowing free and full discussion of an issue without the time constraints that a formal Commission meeting might impose, and are completely permissible so long as properly noticed MANATEE COUNTY The Manatee practice of beginning its meetings with An attorney representing the contending that its practice of opening its public meetings with a prayer violates In 2010, Supreme Court Chief Justice Court released audio recordings of oral arguments within minutes of their Source: RCFP.org PRIVACY ACCESS MEETINGS In the wake of the allegations, county commissioners took steps not required by the Sunshine Law to make the informal They were televised and also streamed Although Wagner noted that the agendas are not necessary for informal meetings, the commission said it would make agendas available to let the public know the majority of issues up for discussion, the Sun Source: The Gainesville Sun Commissioners are free to pray privately, or to worship on their own time in their own way; they do not need to Manatee County Chief Minix told commissioners that that the practice does not violate any law, according to the Bradenton Herald. particular religion on the public or at We try very hard to make it as open and non-denominational as Although the commission has twice received letters from groups opposing the prayer before Source: Bradenton Herald FIRST AMENDMENT


Ethics board dismisses complaint Cape Coral rescinds records policy FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 3 The Brechner Report February 2012 Brechner Center for Freedom of Information College of Journalism and Communications Sandra F. Chance, J.D., Exec. Director/Exec. Editor Kara Carnley Murrhee, Editor Alana Kolifrath, Production Coordinator Emily Miller, Production Assistant The Brechner Report is published 12 times a year under the auspices of the University of Florida The Brechner Report is a joint effort of The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Barack Obama issued a memorandum calling on federal agencies to reform their record-keeping practices in ways designed to make wider use of The memorandum orders the plans on how they will better manage electronic records, including emails and social media data, and and Budget within 120 days, The Washington Post Agencies have also been asked to report on their use, if any, of cloudbased storage services, a method for When records are well managed, agencies can use them to assess the impact of programs, to reduce redundant efforts, and to share knowledge within and across their In these ways, proper records management is the backbone of open Source: The Washington Post, RCFP.org of charging fees for public records Cape Coral rescinded its public records policy, restoring the threshold for originally amended the policy in October, requiring the city to begin adding staff time to council members when he announced that a records request for his cell phone records would cost more than $700 to retrieve and Councilmember Marty McClain phone records when questions arose communications between councilmembers Although staff time for completing records requests is typically billed at the rate of the lowest paid individual on city staff capable of compiling and preparing said information needed to be redacted from the records and he was the only one who would know what information was Source: Cape Coral Breeze Crestview investigation expands Ethics Commission found no probable cause to pursue complaints against one including Vice Mayor Marty Popelsky, suspended Commissioner Sylvia Poitier, former Mayor Al Capellini and former properly disclose free tickets they received to the Mango Festival previously held in the city or solicited tickets to it from city An investigation by the Ethics Commission found no evidence to had broken state ethics rules for accepting Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel ACCESS RECORDS Obama orders agencies to reform recordkeeping alleged Sunshine Law violations committed Bill Eddins, state attorney for the First subpoenas for additional records held by councilmembers but did not specify what additional records we need to look at in The Sunshine Law prohibits elected interest with one another outside of a Source: Northwest Florida Daily News FOIA recommendations stalled has taken no further public action on recommendations to improve implementation of the federal Freedom Those recommendations were proposed Act of 2007 for the purpose of providing recommendations to Congress and the Although the substance of the recommendations have not been made publicly available, Miriam Nisbet, director some movement within OMB on those Source: RCFP.org


Pat Gleason is special counsel for open government for Attorney General Pam Bondi. 3. I noticed a citation to a circuit court case in the Sunshine Manual that I would like to read. How can I obtain a copy of the judges decision? Copies of circuit court and county court cases cited Opinions may also be accessed by clicking legal resources and 4. Where can I locate a sample public records request form? While public records requests do not have to be made in writing, it can be more effective to make a written request to request form is located at the First Amendment Foundation records requests are also located at this site as well as summaries particular public record? record may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of only in schedules which establish the retention and destruction guidelines Florida has a long standing cherished tradition of Bondi has made open government a priority, stating: In our state, transparency is not up to the whim or grace of As special counsel for open government for Attorney about government actions affecting them and their The following is a sampling of some of the more frequent questions that I receive and the resources that are available to answer them: prosecuted for violating the open government laws? The Brechner Center website contains, among other things, a listing of prosecutions with violating, the Sunshine fees awarded to successful public records litigants is also 2. I want to make a public records request to a state agency but I dont know who to send it to. How can I obtain information about this? helpful information is often available from individual agency Contact information for local governments is also often there is no open government information contained there, I recommend addressing your request to the records custodian January 2007 February 2012 Stay informed: Online FOI resources offer abundant info The By Pat Gleason Back Page Pat Gleason