Coalition News

Victory for newspaper publisher Tim Crews and FAC in Appeals Court decision

A state Court of Appeal has ruled that small-town California newspaper publisher Tim Crews does not have to pay legal fees to a school board he sued over his public records request. The unanimous decision (see Court of Appeal’s opinion below) represents a crucial victory for government transparency and a welcome success for the First Amendment Coalition, which was instrumental in organizing and underwriting Crews’ successful defense. “The appeals court’s decision makes clear that, in

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FAC’s Peter Scheer to speak at May 8 public records litigation seminar

What are the practical steps that citizens and media should take before bringing a lawsuit in a public records case? This question will be the focus of discussion for FAC Executive Director Peter Scheer and other top government-access legal specialists participating in the Public Records Act Litigation Seminar, Wed., May 8 in San Francisco. The seminar is designed for public and private attorneys who handle denials of citizen and media public records requests and public

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FAC files suit for logs showing who visited LA’s County Assessor in jail

PS–The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) has filed a Public Records suit to find out who has visited LA county jail inmate John Noguez, the embattled LA County Assessor who faces twenty-four felony counts for bribery, perjury and related public corruption charges. Noguez was arrested in October, along with an aide and a political contributor, following a political corruption probe into allegations that the Assessor’s Office lowered property tax bills in exchange for campaign contributions. FAC’s

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LAPD’s use of “Stingray” cell-phone monitoring tool revealed by FAC public records request

BY PETER SCHEER–The records published below–released to the First Amendment Coalition by the Los Angeles Police Department–confirm LAPD’s use, in criminal investigations, of a controversial technology for tracking cell phones. Devices using this technology, “International Mobile Subscriber Identity” locators, operate by mimicking a cellphone tower, causing cell phones that are within range to connect to the device. Their use raises privacy and free speech concerns because they obtain information, not only about a specific phone

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Bert Robinson, veteran reporter, editor and open government advocate joins FAC Board

We are pleased to welcome Bert Robinson to the FAC Board of Directors. Robinson is managing editor of content for the Bay Ara News Group overseeing the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune. “Bert is a life-long newspaper man having worked for the Mercury News since graduating from the Columbia University journalism program,” FAC Board Member James Chadwick said in nominating Robinson to the board. “More importantly for FAC, I’ve not

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