Lorig v. Medical Board was a case before California's First District Court of Appeal in 2000 concerning the posting of personal information on the internet.
This case established that addresses of record or business addresses held by state agents, unless otherwise explicitly exempt, do not fall under exemptions designed to protect individual privacy.
- All physicians in the state of California are required to file current contact information, namely a current mailing address with the Medical Board of California. In the past, many doctors used their home addresses for their current mailing address.
- In May 1997 the Board created a website which amongst other things, listed the current mailing addresses of physicians licensed by the board. This was in response to continued requests by the public for contact information, which the board granted with requiring the name or purpose of the individual making the request. The addresses were not posted until September 1, 1997 and all physicians licensed by the board were notified of the release of the addresses on July 10, 1997
- On October 7, 1997, Lorig, Burton and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists filed a suit claiming that the publication of the addresses was a violation of the California Public Records Act.
- On February 23, 199, the trial court ruled in favor of the Medical Board, declaring that the addresses fell under public records law.
- On March 10, 1999, Lorig, Burton and the Union filed an appeal.
Ruling of the court
The trial court ruled in favor of the Medical Board, declaring that there was no violation of public records law because the addresses on record were public record.
The Court of appeals concurred with the trial court and said that the Medical Board was well within their right to release the addresses.
The court first established that, counter to the arguments of Lorig, the Medical Board was acting in the public interest, because access to addresses of current licensed physicians in California would be a valuable tool for the public. Further, the Board gave ample opportunity for individuals to use alternative addresses and has never required a home address to be a physicians address of record, thus preventing any violation of privacy rights. The board even allowed physicians to used postal boxes as addresses of record and maintain a confidential mailing address for the Medical Board mailings. Based on these facts, the court ruled in favor of the Medical Board.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ruling of the Court