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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

Text Messages as Public Records

April 22, 2013

A city manager sends and receives the following text messages from a city resident on the manager’s personal smartphone: Citizen: u and wife want to meet us for dinner at 6 2moro? Manager: same place as last Fri? scallops were delish … Continued

Can I See What’s in My Personnel File?

March 27, 2013

North Carolina statutes protect most public employee information from public access. Public employees have the right to inspect almost all of the information in the files their employers maintain about them. The statutes do, however, carve a few types of … Continued

Are Security Videos Public Records?

November 16, 2012

Local governments, like many other organizations, place cameras in strategic locations to monitor activities that take place on their property or in public places. Security cameras are used for various purposes, including to apprehend and deter criminal behavior by employees … Continued

Ethics and Employee Email

August 1, 2012

[UPDATE: the final version of the NC ethics opinion discussed in this post can be found here: 2012 FEO 5.] Wally Whiner is in trouble once again.  Wally, an employee in Blue Devil City’s finance department, has been placed on … Continued

Dealing With Massive Public Records Requests

March 29, 2012

It’s happening more and more frequently, in large and small jurisdictions across North Carolina. It may come by email, personal delivery, or even in a good old -fashioned letter, signed, sealed and delivered by snail mail. It’s the massive public … Continued