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Virginia Top Court Opinion Affecting Municipality Law: September 17, 2015

Virginia Top Court Opinion Affecting Municipality Law: September 17, 2015

The Virginia Top Court issued opinions on September 17, 2015 during its recent term. This term led to one opinion affecting Virginia municipality law, in the liberty of knowledge Act. The opinion addresses the necessity – really, the possible lack of a necessity – to redact documents whenever a part of a document might be exempted from production under Virginia Code § 2.2-3705.2(6). A dissent compiled by Justice Mims takes problem with most. This opinion recently been belittled by media sources like the Washington Publish and also the Daily Press.

The situation summary is obtained from the Virginia Top Court opinions website. Click the situation number to see the opinion.

141780 Department of Corrections v. Surovell 09/17/2015 Underneath the Virginia Freedom of knowledge Act, Code § 2.2-3705.2(6) provides that particular records associated with public safety are excluded from disclosure towards the extent their production would jeopardize security of the governmental facility or even the safety of persons while using facility. Inside a mandamus proceeding to examine the refusal from the Virginia Department of Corrections to create certain documents relating to numerous facets of executions conducted in Virginia, the circuit court was needed to provide substantial weight towards the agency’s proof of security concerns, which standard must have been applied regarding several contested documents. Two “execution manuals” searched for contain security protocols exempt from disclosure underneath the Code § 2.2-3705.2(6). This statute doesn’t make reference to manufacture of “portions” of records, and for that reason a company isn’t needed to redact an exempt document for the reason that category that could also contain non-exempt material. The judgment from the circuit court is reversed and, regarding several documents, the problem is remanded towards the circuit court for more proceedings in accord with this particular opinion.

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