Don’t Picture This: The FOIA And The Use Of Smartphones As A Substitute For Paying For Copies

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally permits public agencies to charge for copies (usually, $0.50/page) when complying with FOIA requests. One exception to this fee requirement is that an individual may engage in “self-help” and copy a public record through the use of a “hand-held scanner”. Connecticut General Statutes §1-212(g).  A “hand held scanner”…

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Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA (Part Three): Trying To Do The Right Thing Is A Good Thing Under The FOIA

In our latest posting on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], we confirm that the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has a heart, and may sometimes forgive technical non-compliance by public agencies and their employees. Honesty and good faith = highly moral and good FOIA strategy I often preach that honesty, common sense and an…

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Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds And The FOIA (Part Two): Can You See My Notes (And Calendar)?

For those who still cannot get enough after my latest post on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], here are more nuggets from the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. Today, we focus on written notes and calendar entries. When are personal notes FOIA-able? Generally, but not always, one’s own personal notes may be exempt from…

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Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA: More Interesting Cases From The FOIC (Part One)

Dropping thermometers did not diminish the heated action occurring before Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. It should also go without saying that the accompanying snow, ice and other perils of winter did not eliminate the need of public agencies to comply with Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”].  Here are some decisions of note…

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Transgender Student Issues – The FEDs Speak, But Is It Really News In Connecticut?

On May 13, 2016, with much fanfare, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education jointly issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” [“DCL”] in order to provide guidance for school districts with respect to transgender students; the Departments also issued a document entitled “Samples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting…

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G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board – A Tipping Point on Transgender Student Access Issues?

Have we reached a judicial tipping point on transgender student bathroom and locker room access issues? Perhaps we have. On April 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals – the federal circuit court with jurisdiction over appeals originating from the federal district courts in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia –…

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Drafting Agendas: Three Reasons to be More Specific than “Attorney-Client Privileged Communication – Executive Session Anticipated”

One of the most regularly used reasons to enter executive session is to discuss a matter that would result in the disclosure of communications that are privileged by the attorney-client relationship. The agenda item often appears as this: “Discussion and possible action on attorney-client privileged communication – executive session anticipated.” Unfortunately, this agenda item will…

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Post-Friedrichs, The Agency Fee Ground Is Still Shaking Mightily, But For A Different Reason

Agency fee contract provisions in collective bargaining agreements that require public sector bargaining unit employees, as a condition of employment, to pay the union for the cost of contract administration, grievance adjustment and collective bargaining, passed constitutional muster in the 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (431 U.S. 209, 97…

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