OOR Recognizes Mechanism for Agencies to Preemptively Preserve Issues Not Raised in the Initial Denial Letter

Where an agency initially states that a request is insufficiently specific, courts may permit the agency to raise issues not preserved in the denial letter.  See PSP v. OOR (George), 995 A.2d 515 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2010) as interpreted by the Office of Open Records in Valenti v. Wyoming Area SD, OOR Docket AP 2010-0639 (Glinn, 8/10/10).  As explained in George, where a valid request is included in a laundry list of requested materials, an agency may still raise any claim that access to the valid request should be denied under another provision of the RTKL.  But, the George court warns, agencies as a normal practice should raise all objections to access when the request is made if the reason for denying access can be reasonably discerned when the request is made.

Disclaimer:  This blog is maintained by the members of Nauman Smith’s Media and Right-to-Know Law practice group.  The members of this practice group represent both: 1) media entities, individuals and corporations seeking access to public records, and 2) local municipalities seeking to comply with the law.  THIS BLOG IS NOT MEANT TO BE USED AS LEGAL ADVICE.  The purpose of this blog is to provide educational material for individuals interested in Pennsylvania’s open records law, commonly referred to as the “Right-to-Know Law” or “RTKL”.  The opinions expressed by the individual members of the practice group are solely their own, and do not reflect the opinions of Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall, LLP, or the practice group as a whole.

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