Open records in court: Win one, lose one

According to this national study, South Dakota and Alabama are tied for having the worst FOIA laws in the country (one notch below Pennsylvania).

Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that a South Dakota judge yesterday determined that the taxpayers of South Dakota don’t get to find out who their governor invited to a lavish pheasant hunt in 2005 that they paid for.

More South Dakota open records press here.

Meanwhile, in Atlanta, a judge has determined that a private non-profit, the Piedmont Park Conservancy, has to open its records under Georgia law. The judge said that because it is “performing a public function” it is therefore subject to FOIA.

Without knowing the ins-and-outs of the case, I’d imagine that some attorneys today in Georgia just got a very expanded view of which Georgia corporations, under this ruling, would be subject to FOIA.

Public? Private? Where’s the line?

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