Open records court decisions

BY BRYAN DEAN Staff Writer bdean@opubco.com Published: February 11, 2013

Attorney General's Opinion 2002-05

An “executive panel” convened by Gov. Frank Keating to discuss state preparedness after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks remained exempt from the Act because the panel was not a public body but rather a collection of public servants. However, documents that came into possession of the panel were open if the documents were taken back to their respective offices.

2009

Attorney General Opinion 2009-12

The Attorney General ruled that emails, text messages and other electronic communications made or received in connection with the transaction of public business, expenditure of public funds or the administration of public property are subject to the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Public officials who use private email accounts or cell phones to conduct public business must make public the records of such business on request.

2011

The Oklahoma Supreme Court decided in a 7-2 ruling that public employee birth dates are not open record. Although not specifically exempted under the law, justices found releasing employee birth dates would qualify as a “clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy” under the law.

2012

Attorney General Opinion 2012-22

This opinion affirmed that mug shots taken by law enforcement of people who are arrested are open records and must be disclosed.


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