New Limitations to Freedom of Information Act Requests

Friday, May 03, 2013


On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that states have the right to limit public records requests to only residents of that state. Brooke talks to Mark McBurney, one of the petitioners in the case, and Mark Caramanica, Freedom of Information Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

If you want to hear more on this story, listen to Brooke's interview with Michael Morisy, co-founder of open government website MuckRock on our blog.

Modest Mouse - Here It Comes


Mark Caramanica and Mark McBurney

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Brooke Gladstone

Comments [2]

margaret from Nebraska

I was upset that the FOIA decision was made on a Child Support Case. It reinforced my greatest disappointment in my over 25 yrs. in Child Support Enforcement as an Officer under County, State and then under Priviteization. I knew the laws International, National, State and Local. So much was changing for the good regarding location, payments and New Hire that opened Payer and Payee success and affordability and review.
Regarding the FOIA decision in Virginia it reinforces the great flaw in Child Support that all falls on individuals, attitude and commitment. It remains a judgmental system where the providing personal service, time to explain and assisting without bias never was given without resentment.
If the time were taken to provide information, give assistance and provide or get the answers for individuals by staff. Losing a file is human error in modern child support. The file is on line in an State, interstate, or International file system. Court filing documents are on a court system but each state system different, Courts different and filings different. Each filing has reassigned numbers so that the same action could end up with multi filings and docket and pages.
So as those who heard this FOIA Story connected to child support I have one recommendation... make your request to elected State Officers or go Federal Child Support. States can lose Federal Dollars if your case is part of audit. All inquiries have State and Federal Timelines for response.

May. 05 2013 12:23 PM
Pat from Maryland

Thank you for this story on the recent Supreme Court FOIA ruling. I handle FOIA requests for a federal office, and I was surprised, not just at the ruling, but the unanimity of the Court on this. Under the federal FOIA statute, anyone in the world can make a request; there is no citizenship requirement. It would be interesting to know if the plaintiffs in the Virginia case made the argument that state laws restricting this right to citizens might be unconstitutional.

May. 04 2013 07:55 AM

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