Justices give courts wide role in open records

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 21, 2013 10:57 AM
gavel bench.jpg

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is giving wide authority to state courts to determine if government records should be released publicly, but it's a decision the chief justice is warning will make requests more costly and add delays.

The court ruled 4-to-2 on Tuesday in the matter of a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter who had sought information about federal grant money spent by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

The case clarifies the role of the Office of Open Records, an agency created when the Right-to-Know Law was completely overhauled five years ago.

The majority says appeals taken from the Office of Open Records to Commonwealth Court don't have to be confined to the existing record but can be supplemented.

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