Vourvoulias v. Movassaghi is a February 11, 2005 decision of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal concerning public records requests.
This case interpreted the Louisiana Public Records Act to mean that the law only applies to those who individually, directly and personally submit a request for records.
George Vourvoulias wanted records from Kam Movassaghi, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). Vourvoulias had his law firm submit the request. The request from the law firm was signed by Marti Bivona, a legal assistant.
The DOTD did not comply with the request, leading Vourvoulias to file suit. DOTD defended itself at the trial on these grounds:
- Vourvoulias did not have a cause of action to sue them, since he never submitted an open records request to them. Rather, only Marti Bivona did.
- The records Vourvoulias wanted were exempt.
Ruling of the court
The trial court said the records were not exempt and ordered the DOTD to provide the records to the plaintiff. The trial court also ordered the DOTD to pay $3,500.00 in attorney's fees to the plaintiff.
The DOTD appealed the trial court's decision, saying the trial court had ruled improperly on the question of whether Vourvoulias had a right of action.
The court of appeals agreed with the defendant DOTD that only Bivona had a right of action against DOTD because only Bivona had submitted a records request.