Does your state government have an appeals process to fight an FOI court decision?

istock-gavel_425x282When an open record petitioner is denied access to a file by a governing body and files a lawsuit, and a court decides that the governing body has to provide that file, is there an appeal process or deadline in your state that the governing body is held to in order to appeal the court’s decision? If so, is there a distinction between the deadlines to file the appeal (“notice of appeal”) versus the deadline to perfect the appeal? (Please comment below)

For example, in NY State, government agencies have 30 days to file notice of an appeal and up to nine months to perfect the appeal. S.1531/A.114 was recently passed by the NY legislature and is before the governor for his signature. This bill will reduce the timeframe to 30 days in which to file notice of appeal and two months for the agency to perfect the appeal. This change essentially shortens the appeal window from 10 months to three months.

NFOIC member Reinvent Albany is seeking examples from other states that have an FOI appeal process to compare with this bill and to encourage the governor to sign the bill. NFOIC would like to compile the responses.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Government Guide offers a “compare” tool for the time limits for filing appeals. However, they do not list the response time required of government, or make a distinction between notice of the appeal and time to perfect the appeal.

Is there an appeal process or deadline in your state for government to appeal the court’s decision in FOI cases? Yes? No? If so, what is the process or timeline in your state? (Please comment below)

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