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The Latest on North Carolina Body-Worn Camera Legislation

June 22, 2016

The national debate about body-worn cameras continues as more law enforcement agencies adopt this powerful tool. As I’ve noted in a previous blog post here, this issue involves numerous competing issues, including safety, privacy, fairness, and transparency. Public expectations of … Continued

Custodians of Public Records

December 19, 2014

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled that a lawsuit seeking access to public records should be dismissed if it fails to name a proper custodian (as defined in state law) as the defendant in the complaint. The case … Continued

Who Has Access to Applicant Information?

June 5, 2014

Under North Carolina law, records containing information about applicants for local government jobs are confidential. Of course, employees and officials of the local government itself may view applicant information. This blog explores who, within the unit of government, can have … Continued

Anonymous Tips: Can They Really Be Anonymous? [Revised]

April 9, 2014

Note: This is a revised version of my earlier post on this topic. Thanks to my colleague Jeff Welty for his help in providing a more complete explanation of the criminal investigation exceptions. Local governments want to hear from their … Continued

Are Mug Shots Public Records?

May 22, 2013

This may seem like a silly question. Mug shots (more formally, “booking photographs”) are everywhere, posted for free, searchable on line, sold in magazines at convenience stores, and regularly provided by law enforcement agencies. I never considered the question of … Continued

Who Can Request Public Records?

May 10, 2013

The United States Supreme Court recently upheld a provision in the state of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows only Virginia citizens to request  public records under the act. The case is McBurney v. Young.  Could a North Carolina local … Continued

Charging for Copies of Public Records

April 24, 2013

How much can a public agency charge for responding to public records requests?  The statute limits charges to a “minimal amount,” which is defined as the “actual cost of reproducing the public record or public information.” G.S. 132-1(b). A separate … Continued