This blog features case law related to real estate, land use, zoning, and municipal law in Pennsylvania

Tag: attorney-client privilege

Commonwealth Court Holds University Was Not Performing “Official Agency Duties” Required for Noncriminal Investigation Exemption to RTKL When Investigating Structural Failure of Garage

California University of Pennsylvania (the “University”) petitioned the Commonwealth Court for review of a final determination made by Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records (OOR) in January 2017.  The final determination held that records relating to the University’s investigation of a structural failure in an on-campus parking garage were recoverable.  The Commonwealth Court affirmed in part and vacated and remanded in part the ORR’s final determination.  Specifically, the Commonwealth Court held that the University failed to show that certain records were exempt from disclosure under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law (the “RTKL”) as records of a noncriminal investigation or as records of predecisional deliberations.  However, the Commonwealth Court did remand potentially privileged records to OOR for an in camera review.

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Prepayment Demands For RTKL Responses Do Not Have To Be Made In Initial Response To Requestor

This case presents a matter of first impression regarding the timeframe within which an agency may demand prepayment under § 1307(h) of the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). The court found that while a prepayment demand does not have to be made in an agency’s first response to a RTKL request, it can only be made after a full legal review has been completed.

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OOR Has Broad Discretion To Order In Camera Review Of Documents Withheld From RTKL Disclosure Based On Privilege

In this interlocutory appeal from a decision of the Office of Open Records (OOR), the Commonwealth Court held that government entities withholding information subject to a Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) request must provide affidavits with sufficient information to demonstrate why the information is non-disclosable or OOR has broad discretion to order in camera review of the information at issue.

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