Tennessee sunshine lawsuits

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

" Year Precedent
Cleveland Newspapers, Inc. v. Bradley County Memorial Hospital 1981 This case established that public hospitals do in fact fall within the definition of public bodies found within the Tennessee Open Records Act.
Dorrier v. Dark 1976
Mayhew v. Wilde 2001
Memphis Publishing Co. v. Cherokee Children & Family Services 2002 This case established that private entities could be subject to the state public records law if they performed the "functional equivalent" of a government agency. The functional equivalency test required that a private entity perform a public function and have an acceptable combination of the following criteria so as to deem the private entity the "functional equivalent" of the public body:
  1. Is the private entity publicly funded?
  2. Is the private entity controlled by the government?
  3. Was the private entity created by a governmental body?
Memphis Publishing Co. v. City of Memphis 1974
Memphis Publishing Co. v. Holt 1986
State ex rel. Wellford v. Williams 1903
Swift v. Campbell 2004
Tennessean v. Bureau of TennCare 2005
Tennessean v. Electric Power Board of Nashville 1998 1.) Electronic records possessed by a government are, like paper records, subject to the state's public records law.
2.) Placed a limit on what governments could charge for records request and required a schedule of fees.
Tennessean v. Tennessee Department of Personnel 2007
The Tennessean v. Powers Management/Allen v. Day 2006 The case reiterated that private organizations performing government services under contract can be subject to the Tennessee Open Records Act if they fulfill the functional equivalency test, thereby affirming the decision in Memphis Publishing Co. v. Cherokee Children & Family Services.