LEGAL TIP OF THE WEEK
DPS AND GOVERNOR VIOLATED OPEN RECORDS ACT
Records of public entities are supposed to be made available to the general population, upon making a proper request. You may remember a few years back a story about a botched execution here in Oklahoma. The case happened in 2014, when Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett was set to die by lethal injection. The process went wrong somewhere along the way, and a reporter in Tulsa investigating the story asked for some emails related to the execution. Those records were not fully provided until May 2016, which was two years after the request was made. This delay prompted a case to look into the Open Records Act, and examine the process the Governor’s office follows when a records request is made. An Oklahoma Judge found the process failed to meet the requirement of “prompt and reasonable” access to records As for the Governor’s reply, a spokesperson has indicated they are reviewing the Judge’s ruling to decide if an appeal is necessary. The case is an interesting one for all Oklahomans, because public access to records is a vital part of the efficient workings of any government. Without the ability to obtain and review important records, critical decisions can be hampered. If you need help with an Open Records Act request, call us today so you don’t experience unreasonable delay.
For more information, contact us online today www.hostylaw.com or by calling the office at (405) 235-4040.