Brechner report
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090012/00148
 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: April 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: UF00090012:00148


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BRECHNERREPORTTHE Volume 36, Number 4 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 April 2012 TALLAHASSEE The 1st Judicial Circuit amended its courtroom access rules for the public and press in highChief Judge Terry Terrell signed the administrative order, which will allow a trial judge with the concurrence of the chief judge to declare a proceeding Once a case has been deemed for the circuit are called upon to serve representatives should also notify court administrators 24 hours in advance of Only one television camera, one still photographer and one audio system for radio broadcast will be allowed in the courtroom for A media committee will also be set up to designate which reporters and photographers will be granted courtroom access, according to the requesting courtroom access will be required to obtain passes, to be The idea a court administrator can declare this or that case of great interest and all of a sudden limit the publics ability to go into a courtroom, thats really an offensive issue, said Talbot Sandy DAlemberte, who argued Source: Northwest Florida Daily News 5th Amendment protects hard drives, court rules adapting to a new law requiring courts to keep private personal information out of clerks of the circuit courts are required to remove Social Security numbers, bank, debit and credit card information from all In an effort to provide the public with electronic access to court records while minimizing the amount of unnecessary personal information included in those records, the Florida Supreme Court The new rules require the removal of all personal information from court required to remove sensitive personal information when they received a request for those records, according to The Palm Beach Post To comply with the mandate, the 1st Judicial Circuit amends court access rules The terminals provide greater access to records relating to criminal, civil prior to 2008 are still only available by is unfunded, meaning lawmakers are not offering any additional resources to ensure compliance, County Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock estimated that about half of Floridas counties have been unable to afford the redaction software Post Source: The Palm Beach Post COURTS Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that a Florida man under investigation in a child pornography case is not required to unlock his computer hard drives for the federal Amendment, which guarantees a privilege against self-incrimination, protects a person from being forced to hand over encryption codes and passwords to the government in a criminal investigation, The Wall Street Journal The man, who is being referred to as John Doe in court documents, was served with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury to decrypt and produce the contents hard drives, which were seized from his hotel When Doe refused, the Department of Justice obtained a court order granting him limited immunity and requiring him to unlock the contents of the He once again refused and was held Writing for a three-judge panel, Judge entitled to Fifth Amendment protection because Does decryption and production of the contents of the drives would be testimonial, not merely could not provide enough evidence to Source: The Wall Street Journal PRIVACY


it cannot release the agreement until it The terms of the agreement require the companies 10 days to ask a court to block release of the in circuit court, requesting release of the document and seeking Source: The Palm Beach Post SAN FRANCISCO The First Amendment must be weighed in any A three-judge panel ordered the federal district court to reconsider its decision that a photographers First Amendment rights were not violated when she was prohibited from photographing a roundup of wild horses on federal land in Nevada, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Photojournalist Laura Leigh brought suit, claiming that viewing restrictions 2 The Brechner Report April 2012 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Attorney compelled to comply with records request Department nixes records practice after complaint DEFUNIAK SPRINGS A judge recently ruled in favor of a public records requester, holding that an attorney, acting as the countys legal representative, was required to comply with the public records Requester Suzanne Harris made a for records related to a controversial Walton County land deal in which Public Records Law by failing to turn over the requested records and by failing to properly acknowledge receipt of the Circuit Judge Howard LaPorte gave records and ordered him to cover Harriss intentionally prevented Harris from obtaining the records to which she was Another lawsuit involving the deal seeks reimbursement of an alleged demands the county be required to seek Source: Northwest Florida Daily News the Public Records Law by refusing to A representative of the Sarasota-based group, Citizens for Sunshine, said that one of its members went to Gannons the settlement agreement but was denied access, The Palm Beach Post The agreement details the her First Amendment right to observe her with unrestricted access to the horse roundups, where there had been The 9th Circuit in San Francisco held that the district court had incorrectly ruled that Leighs First Amendment rights were not violated because she was not denied access to viewing the The appellate court remanded the case back to the district court to determine whether the public has a right of access to horse gathers by considering whether Orbitz and Travelocity, were not giving the county they collect for hotel rooms booked there, according to the Post. Although legal settlements are typically considered public records LAKELAND The Lakeland Fire Department changed its practice of The practice came under scrutiny when an individual challenged it and called The Ledger (Lakeland) The Ledger then called the department and horse gathers have historically been open to the general public and whether public access plays a positive role in if the district court determines that a overcome that right by demonstrating an overriding interest that the viewing restrictions are essential to preserve higher values and are narrowly tailored to The court also found that the issue horse gather was not moot because her request applied to all future horse gathers, Source: RCFP.org, Leigh v. Salazar The form required the requesters name, address and phone number, title and since July 2011, according to The Ledger that although the form cant be required, it can be helpful for workers providing public records because it gives them documentation of what someone is asking Fire Chief Gary Ballard said the department is eliminating the practice Source: The Ledger (Lakeland FIRST AMENDMENT ACCESS RECORDS


ACCESS RECORDS CONTINUED 3 The Brechner Report April 2012 Brechner Center for Freedom of Information College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8400 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 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 Society of News Editors Southeast Volusia Hospital District board of commissioners voted its former attorney for faulty legal a legal malpractice claim against Orlando attorney Jim Heekin for his advice to keep the public out of discussions regarding a merger and Adventist Health Systems, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal That merger was thrown out in 2010 by Circuit Judge Richard Graham, of the 7th Judicial Circuit in Daytona, after it was found that the 21 closed meetings held over 16 months that resulted in the merger violated Floridas Sunshine Law, the News-Journal The Bert Fish Foundation, a administrative and legal fees as a Source: Daytona Beach NewsJournal Hospital sues counsel over Commissioners vote to keep airport security plans secret judge ruled that the city of High Springs did not violate the Public Records Law when it redacted portions of a preemployment polygraph report before Clinton Knowles was required to take a polygraph test as part of the preemployment process to become a reserve series of questions and answers from the report following a public records request for the report, a High Springs resident On appeal, Associate Judge James Appeals in Alachua upheld the trial courts and answers prepared and received by a government agency for the purpose of Given the plain meaning of the we agree with the trial court that the City properly redacted the questions and answers from this particular premakes no distinction in its application as to the subject matter being tested, nor does its application depend upon the type of being administered by the government Source: RCFP.org, Rush v. High Springs, Florida TALLAHASSEE Two against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, accusing the commission of violating the states Their lawsuit alleges a technical advisory committee held closed door meetings to draft a plan for cutting off public boating access to part of The groups, Save Our Creeks and Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, say the plan would claim it calls for building roads through pounds of sand into the creek to block Source: The Associated Press Airports security plans will be kept secret despite requests by at least one Commissioner Georgia Hiller said she made her request to see the airport security plans following concerns regarding airport Coyle opposes the release, reported the Naples Daily News There is no reason for any commissioner to have access to the plan, Florida law requires that general aviation airports that are open to the public and have at least one runway more than 4,999 feet long have an approved current But only the security plans of Public Records Law, and Immokalee is not an international airport, according to the Daily News restricted to the airport manager, the Department of Homeland Security, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Commissioners voted 3-2 to keep Source: Naples Daily News


Diana Lopez is Senior Editor of Sunshine Review. Lopez writes about state and local government transparency issues and investigates local governments through public records requests. For more information on the Sunny Awards, see http:// sunshinereview.org/index.php/Sunny_Awards. The reality, however, is that of the more than 6,000 governments rated since 2008, Sunshine Review has There is little satisfaction in noting that a is great satisfaction, however, in working with a government to get as much information posted online Through collaboration with governments, Sunshine Review has ensured the online availability of contracts with vendors, city and county budgets and information as Sometimes, governments have this information but dont Usually talk of open government refers to governments Collaboration with the public is not always an approach times when governments act as adversaries and block access to In these cases, it is important for citizens and professionals, must reach out to Attorneys General and/or ethics commissions The beauty of proactive disclosure is that governments are Sunshine Reviews Sunny Awards celebrate those open In an ideal world, open government and disclosure of Governments would make information available to citizens by putting information online in multiple formats Some governments take the initiative and clearly disclose data and information to citizens in a way that annual celebration of transparency held to bring attention organization committed to state and local government transparency, awards Sunny Awards to recognize governments that make key information available to constituents online using a 10 Point Transparency Governments earn a grade based upon the amount of checks that a state or local government website earns and Sunshine Review gives Sunny Awards to governments that post online 9 or 10 of Sunshine Reviews desire to encourage governments is one of the reasons that the 10-point checklist requires only available online is ultimately more government information Proactive disclosure, or the idea that governments post information before citizens or laws ask them to do so, saves the trouble and resources that come with answering public records not have to ask for information because governments already January 2007 April 2012 The By Diana Lopez Diana Lopez