March 12th, 2010
Arizona school sues to prevent citizens from requesting records
By David Cuillier
Here’s another zany agency, and again, in Arizona (the dryness skews judgment, I guess). The Congress Elementary School District filed a court injunction against four citizens to prohibit them from requesting any more records.
According to a summary by the Goldwater Institute, which is representing the citizens, the school district has repeatedly violated the public records law and refused to provide basic information, such as budgets. The district states in its suit that the citizens have harassed the school, listing the records requested, including agendas and meeting minutes.
Sometimes active citizens get into arguments with officials and request a lot of records (custodians often call them “frequent fliers”), but the solution is not stripping their right to access meeting minutes. The injunction also asks the court to force the citizens to pay the school’s attorney fees. That’s just wrong. These officials need a lesson in civics!