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Arkansas sunshine lawsuits

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Deliberative Process Exemption

Here is a list of major FOIA court decisions and their effect on the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
(The cases are listed alphabetically. To order them by year please click the icon below the Year heading)


" Year Precedent
Arkansas Gazette Co. v. Southern State College 1981 This case established a number of important precedents:

1.) It affirmed the decision that intercollegiate athletic conferences which receive funding from public institutions are in fact public bodies subject to records requests.
2.) The financial records of athletic conferences do not fall within the states exemption for scholastic records and do not fall within the federal education records exemption.

Arkansas Hwy. & Transp. Dep't v. Hope Brick Works Inc. 1988 This case established that state attorneys, other than the Attorney General and his staff are not exempt from the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act based on either the deliberative process exemption or an attorney-client privilege exemption.[1]
Bryant v. Mars 1992 This case established that all working papers within the office of the attorney general, including those submitted by outside consultants, do in fact fall under the exemption found in Ark. Code. 25-10-105(b)(7).[2]
City of Fayetteville v. Edmark 1990 This case established that public agencies could not hire outside contractors, namely outside legal counsel, to replace services retained by the city in order to circumvent the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Kristen Investment Properties, LLC v. Beaverfork Volunteer Fire Department 2000 Attorney's fees can be awarded to someone who has been denied public records from a nominally private non-profit organization that clearly should have known that it was funded by public dollars
Laman v. McCord 1968
Legislative Joint Auditing Committee v. Woosley 1987 This case established that the deliberative process exemption found at Ark. Code. 25-10-105(b)(7) did not extend to committees created by the legislature but only covered the working papers of specific legislators.[3]
North Central Association of Colleges & Schools v. Troutt Brothers, Inc. 1977 This case established that organizations which receive dues from public bodies are considered publicly funded.
Ragland v. Yeargan 1986
Rehabilitation Hospital Services Corporation v. Delta-Hills Health Systems, Agency, Inc. 1985 This case established that private corporations functioning in Arkansas who receive federal funding are subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Republican Party of Arkansas v. State ex rel. Hall 1966
Scott v. Smith 1987 This case affirmed the decision in, Laman v. McCord, namely, that there is no attorney-client privilege exemption within the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. This case also held that the deliberative process exemption for the Attorney General did not extend to all lawyers representing state agencies.[4]
Sebastian County Chapter of American Red Cross v. Weatherford 1993 This case established that only direct public funding resulted in a private agency being considered subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Swaney v. Tilford 1995 This case established a number of important precedents:

1.) It established that the use of outside organizations to perform functions that are typically performed by public agencies subjects all records relating to the public function held by those outside organizations to the public records act.
2.) It extended the obligation of the public agency contracting with an outside organization to perform a public function to obtain and provide access to all of the outside organizations records relating to the public function.

References