Vermont Public Records: Notable Case Law

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The Stowe Reporter, LLC v. Town of Stowe (Vt. Sup. Ct. 2023) | The town of Stowe can not withhold information about a police officer who was terminated just because it sent that information to a statewide political body inclined to keep that type of information secret.

Judge Sides with Stowe Reporter in Suit Over Police Records | Stowe Reporter

Human Rights Defense Center v. Correct Care Solutions, 263 A.3d 1260 (Vt. 2021) | In some cases, private entities performing certain government functions under contract with a political subdivision may be considered an “instrumentality” of that political subdivision, and thus be a public agency covered by the PRA.

Doyle v. Burlington Police Dep’t.219 A.3d 326 (Vt. 2019) | Agencies are not permitted to charge for time spent complying with a request to inspect records rather than obtaining copies of them.

Toensing v. Attorney Gen. of Vt., 178 A.3d 1000 (Vt. 2017) | The PRA applies to records of agency business even if those records are on an official’s private device or account.

Finberg v. Murnane, 623 A.2d 979 (Vt.1992) | Determined that all exemptions must be narrowly construed and resolved in favor of disclosure when doubt exists.

Killington, Ltd. v. Lash, 572 A.2d 1368 (Vt. 1990) | Determined that the governor can claim executive privilege under the PRA but such privilege is qualified and not absolute.