Rhode Island Public Records Law: Notable Case Law

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Direct Action for Rights & Equality v. Gannon, 713 A.2d 218 (R.I. 1998) | Civilian complaints against the police are public records as long as they are redacted to protect personally identifying information.

Providence Journal Co. v. R.I. Dep’t of Pub. Safety, 136 A.3d 1168 (R.I. 2016) | Although requesters are not ordinarily required to provide a reason for their request, even minimal privacy interests will exempt the records without a requester articulating a “public interest” in disclosure.

Providence Journal Co. v. Sundlun, 616 A.2d 1131 (R.I. 1992) | Names and positions of state employees who were to be laid off were considered not public until those individuals were actually laid off.