The Commonwealth Court held that records received by the secretary of education as a member of the Penn State University Board of Trustees are considered agency records because they are in the possession of the Department of Education and state law requires the secretary to sit on the board.
The Commonwealth Court held that benefits plans that a government contractor provided to its employees were not subject to disclosure under the Right to Know Law, as they did not relate to the government activity performed by the contractor and were not “created, received, or retained” by the government agency.
The Commonwealth Court determined that records in the possession of former employees of a government agency are not public records under the Right to Know Law because those records are not in the possession, custody, or control of the agency.
The Commonwealth Court required the disclosure of the home addresses of the lieutenant governor and another employee of that office, stating that home addresses are protected by neither the Pennsylvania Constitution nor the personal security exemption of the Right to Know Law.
The Court also ruled that the Lieutenant Governor’s secondary, government-issued email addresses were protected from disclosure by the “personal identification information” exemption of the RTKL.
In a case involving a Right to Know Law request for state Senate legal bills, the Supreme Court held that the attorney-client privilege generally does not protect client identities or descriptions of services in legal invoices.
The court also ruled that an agency’s failure to raise certain reasons for denying a RTKL request in its original denial letter does not always bar it from raising those reasons at the first level of appeal.
The Commonwealth Court ruled that the Right to Know Law does not exempt from disclosure the governor’s home address or the middle names of employees of the Office of the Governor.
The court, however, determined that government-issued cell phone numbers of Office of the Governor employees need not be disclosed pursuant to the RTKL’s personal identification information exemption.
The Commonwealth Court held that, although an entry on the governor’s calendar may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the exemption for internal predecisional deliberations, the entries at issue must be disclosed because the affidavit submitted by the Governor’s Office in support of redacting the entries was insufficiently detailed to carry his burden of proof.
The Commonwealth Court ruled that there is no constitutional right to privacy in one’s home address. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirmed this ruling.
The Commonwealth Court ruled that documents pertaining a law enforcement agency’s relocation of a witness through the witness protection program are exempt from disclosure under the Right to Know Law due to the potential threat to the witness’ life and safety.
The Commonwealth Court determined that, in the case of inmate transfer records, Department of Corrections employees’ identities were exempt under the Right to Know Law’s personal security exemption. The court also held that the department had not met its burden of establishing that records about the inmates and the logistics of the transfer were exempt under the public safety exemption, but permitted the Department to supplement the record to provide additional evidence within 60 days.