DENIAL OF RECORDS IS IMPROPER IF COURT ACTION IS NOT ACTIVE FOR FURTHER LITIGATION

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October 17, 2022


Issued to:         Pelican Township

Request:          Did the Pelican Township violate the open records laws when it denied a request for records citing pending litigation?

Conclusion:     The Pelican Township received a request for records primarily concerning two township meetings during which decisions were made which led to civil litigation.  The township denied the request citing N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18(6) and pending litigation.  At the time of the request, no issued remained for a court to review; there was no remand ordered to another court; neither party had appealed the decision; and the case was not active for purposes of further litigation.  Therefore, Pelican Township violated the open records laws when it improperly relied on pending litigation to deny a records request.

This opinion may be viewed at: 2022-O-15

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