SLAPP lawsuit to limit citizens’ rights to public records wisely rejected:
A lawsuit filed by a school supervisory union district against a student parent and vocal policy critic was dismissed by Rutland superior court on Tuesday. The district sued Marcel Cyr, a parent, for placing a public records request.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont hailed the dismissal as a victory for government transparency. Dan Barrett, an attorney for the ACLU, says the decision makes it clear that only a citizen can sue a public agency over a records request, not the other way around.
“The supervisory union’s idea to sue someone who makes a public records request is a major threat to open government,” said ACLU-VT executive director Allen Gilbert, in a statement. “The school’s strategy would place concerned citizens and news organizations at the potential peril of having to hire a lawyer and defend themselves every time they make a public records request.”