Solution Seeking Problem: Bill Prohibits Custodians Suing Public Information Act Requestors

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp testified in opposition to Senate Bill 167, “Public Information Act – Suits Filed by Custodians – Prohibition”. SB 167 would prohibit a governmental unit from filing suit against a person who has requested to inspect a record under the PIA. The intent of the bill is to prevent a custodian from invoking a lawsuit as a first response to a records request. However, the bill seeks to solve a problem that has yet to exist in any tangible capacity in the state of Maryland.

From MACo Testimony:

To the best of MACo’s knowledge, no state agency, county, or municipality has ever filed a suit in Maryland against a records requestor as an immediate response to a PIA request. Such an action is simply not contemplated by county record custodians.”

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.