April 19, 2016 – The Daytona Beach News Journal
The Florida Supreme Court last week reinforced a pillar of open government that the Legislature earlier this year attempted to erode.
In a 5-2 decision Thursday, the court ruled that public agencies that violate the state’s open-records laws are liable for the legal fees of citizens, even if the error in compliance was made in “good faith.” Contrast that with bills before the Florida House and Senate this year that sought to make such payments — which under current law are mandatory — subject to a judge’s discretion.
Thankfully, those measures failed to pass. Proponents, which included the Florida League of Cities, argued that local governments are being squeezed financially by “frivolous” requests for public records. [READ MORE]