Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WWL, Zurik Sue City and Moses-Fields For Public Records Access

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 11:16 PM

WWL-TV and reporter Lee Zurik have sued the City of New Orleans and City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields, seeking an order requiring them to turn over public records requested by Zurik in connection with the ongoing NOAH scandal. According to the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday (Aug. 13) at Civil District Court, Zurik requested two sets of records on July 29 and July 31 — but has yet to receive any reply or acknowledgment from the city or Moses-Fields.

 

The case was allotted to Judge Madeleine Landrieu of Division “E” at CDC. Under state law, such cases are accorded “summary” process and are heard quickly.

 

Here are links to WWL-TV’s story about the matter and a copy of the suit.

 

WWL’s attorneys include veteran First Amendment lawyer Mary Ellen Roy of the Phelps Dunbar LLP law firm, and Dan Zimmerman, also of Phelps Dunbar.

 

The suit seeks not only an order mandating the city to turn over the records, but also reasonable attorneys’ fees and civil penalties (which the law prescribes at up to $100 a day) because the city “arbitrarily and capriciously withhold the requested public records … or have unreasonably or arbitrarily failed to respond to the public records requests.”

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