Can the Public Access Counselor compel production of records, fine a public official for withholding a record, or declare a board's action void?

Published 03/24/2008 08:51 AM   |    Updated 05/18/2009 02:58 PM

Can the Public Access Counselor compel production of records, fine a public official for withholding a record, or declare a board's action void?

No. The Public Access Counselor's office is advisory only. There is no authority for fining a public official who violates the access laws. Under certain circumstances, a court could reverse a decision made in violation of the Open Door Law. The only method for forcing compliance by a governmental agency is to file a lawsuit. If you first ask for and receive an advisory opinion or an informal inquiry response from the Public Access Counselor before you file the lawsuit, and you win the lawsuit, you are entitled to collect attorney fees, court costs, and reasonable expenses of litigation.

www.in.gov/pac

 

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