The Palm Beach Post has reported that the Boynton Beach Police Department is being sued for violations of Florida’s Public Records Act. The article states that “Joel Edward Chandler” filed the lawsuit. That is correct.
The lawsuit is one of many that has been filed (with many more to come) in the wake of our recent in-person-audits. So far Robert and I have filed forty-one new public records lawsuits within the past couple of weeks. We plan to file fifty-nine more before the end of the year to make it an even hundred.
The basis of the lawsuit against Boynton Beach Police Department is their unlawful policy of only allowing access to public records on Wednesdays and their demand that all public records requests be made in writing.
In an email to the Palm Beach Post about the lawsuit, Barbara Petersen, President of the Florida First Amendment Foundation wrote:
“The public records law gives us a right of access to the public records of any agency during normal business hours and restricting a citizen’s right to request inspection of a public record to one day a week is, in my opinion, not only impermissible under the law, it’s absurd.
“It’s well settled law in Florida that an agency can’t impose any conditions on our constitutional right of access to public records that operate to restrict that right. A policy like this, one that forces a requester to “come back next week – and only on Wednesday” or to force a requester put a request for public records in writing, is a restriction that is clearly unenforceable and based on what I know of the public records law, it’s highly probable that Mr. Chandler will prevail.”
Stay tuned, there’s lots more to come.