Hawkins v. South Hill (remand)

Mecklenburg Circuit Court judge orders release of redacted records previously withheld under the personnel records exemption.

Dooley v. Gloucester School Board

Gloucester County General District Court: Meeting to discuss disciplining a fellow board meet was improper based on the notice given; recording made in the meeting must be released.

Gloss v. Wheeler (Supreme Court)

Community forum meeting that 5 members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors attended and discussed police response to the George Floyd protests should have been open to the public under FOIA because it discussed "public business." The majority and dissenting opinions discuss the contours of "public business."

Suffolk City School Board v. Wahlstrom (Supreme Court)

The Virginia Supreme Court rules that the public must be able to physically attend a meeting. It also confirms that an injunction can be issued under FOIA without a finding of willful or knowing conduct, and without going through the usual steps for granting injunctive relief in other contexts.

Berry v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County (Supreme Court)

The Supreme Court of Virginia voids a revamped zoning ordinance vote that was taken in the first year of the pandemic because the board voted on it in an electronic meeting, but neither FOIA, the county's continuity of government ordinance nor an amendment made to the 2020 budget allowed for votes on matters that are not somehow time-sensitive.

Hawkins v. South Hill (Supreme Court)

Supreme Court of Virginia interprets the personnel exemption and imposes guardrails on governments from applying it broadly.

Daily Press v. Commonwealth (Supreme Court)

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled there is a presumptive right of access by the public to bond hearings. A Newport News circuit court judge erred by closing a bond hearing for a police officer accused of second-degree murder.

Courthouse News Service v. Hade (federal district court)

The Virginia Officer of the Court Remote Access electronic case file system of circuit courts maintained by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia does not violate the First Amendment rights of access to court records, even though it is limited to use by Virginia-licensed attorneys, their staff and related government officials and prohibits distribution of any records by those with access. The public and the press must visit each individual courthouse for copies of case files.

Stanfield v. Norfolk (Circuit Court)

A Norfolk circuit judge ruled that elected officials are not public bodies who have to respond to FOIA requests, the public body's response obligations are triggered when one of those officials receives a request. The judge also makes rulings on providing a "legal address" in a request and on unauthorized prepayment requirements for requests estimated at under $200.

Keefe v. Lovettsville

Loudoun County General District Court Judge Matthew Snow rules the town violated FOIA when it required a deposit of $115 (FOIA says a deposit can be requested for amounts over $200) and when the requester said she was going to ask the FOIA Council for its opinion, the town said it considered such an action a "threat" and would not process any more of the citizen's requests. (Plus, additional issues on redactions, post-litigation production of records, reasonableness of FOIA charges and attorney fees.)


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