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Coggin v. Davey

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Cogginvs.Davey
Number: 233 Ga. 407, 410-411 (211 SE2d 708)
Year: 1975
State: Georgia
Court: Georgia Supreme Court
Other lawsuits in Georgia
Other lawsuits in 1975
Precedents include:
This suit established the Georgia Open Meetings Act did not apply to the legislature.
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Coggin v. Davey was a case before the Georgia Supreme Court in 1975 concerning the applicability of the Georgia Open Records Act and the Georgia Open Meetings Act to the legislature.

Important precedents

This suit established that the Georgia Open Meetings Act (and the (Georgia Open Records Act potentially) did not apply to the legislature.

Background

  • On February 20, 1974, employees of WRNG Radio filed a complaint in superior court that they had been denied access to Committee meetings of the 1974 Georgia General Assembly, arguing that the legislature was subject to the Georgia Open Meetings Act and was thus violating the law in continuing to hold closed meetings.
  • On May 6, 1974 the trial court ruled in favor of the radio stations.
  • The legislature appealed the decision.

Ruling of the court

The trial court ruled in favor of the radio stations, declaring that the legislature was subject to the Georgia Open Meetings Act. The court also ruled that the decisions made during the meetings in question were void, and that the legislature was obligated to hold all future meetings in the open.

The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the trial court and ruled that the meetings were not subject to the law.

The court determined that the language and intention of the statute was directed at only the, "departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, etc. of this state and its political subdivisions," which does not include the General Assembly. Based on the argument for the separation of powers, the court felt that the legislature should be subject to its own internal rules and regulations. The court argues that the adoption of a number of House and Senate rules indicates that the Assembly considers itself exempt from the Georgia Open Records Act and the Georgia Open Meetings Act, and instead subject to only internal rules. Thus, the court ruled that the legislature was not subject to open meetings or open records requests in Georgia.

Associated cases

See also

External links

References