Preti Flaherty is a private legal practice which maintains this private web site. The site includes references to decisions important to the interpretation of the Maine Freedom of Access Act. Case law provides precedents in which a law’s meaning has been interpreted by a court, pointing the way to future potential information seekers to help them decide how to approach their request.
Here are links from the page to some recent issues that impact access to information in Maine.
Preti Flaherty Prevails in Precedent Setting FOAA Case: Superior Court Rules in Favor of MacImage of Maine
02.24.201 Preti Flaherty announced today that its client, MacImage of Maine, has received a favorable ruling by the Cumberland County Superior Court in a Freedom of Access Act case against six Maine Counties. Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren ruled that the six counties’ exorbitant fees for copies of deeds and other land records illegally denied access to public records and thus violated the Freedom of Access Act — the State’s public records law — and Title 33, which governs copies of registry of deeds records. This case reinforces that government can only charge reasonable fees for records and may not use those fees to discourage citizens from requesting information.
Legal Victory for Preti Flaherty Clears Way for a Statewide Registry of Deeds Website
09.11.2009 A Maine Superior Court judge has ruled that documents in Registry of Deeds offices throughout Maine are indeed public, a decision expected to clear the way for a privately-owned statewide registry of deeds website.
Following the Sept. 1 ruling, MacImage of Maine LLC announced plans to expand its HYPERLINK “http://www.registryofdeeds.com/”www.RegistryofDeeds.com website to provide access to all land records â€“ deeds, mortgages, liens, etc. â€“ throughout the State of Maine. The new website will save consumers both time and money.
Maine’s Public Records Law Now Applies to Private Contractors Doing Business with the State of Maine
05.28.2010 The Maine Legislature in 2009 enacted a little-known but important change that requires records of work performed by private contractors to be open to the public to the same extent as records relating to work performed directly by the state. This addition to Maine’s public records law, known as the Freedom of Access Act (the “FOAA”), creates challenges for private contractors doing business with the State.
KJ vs. State Over Records on Richardson
07.09.2010 Lawyers for the state and the Kennebec Journal are sparring over whether records from John Richardson’s campaign for Maine governor should be open to the media — and thus the public.
Committee’s use of e-mails draws scrutiny
11.01.2009 The Maine Legislature’s Education Committee has a big job to undertake while the House and Senate are out of session: trimming more than $38 million from the state’s K-12 education budget.
And as the panel’s 13 members consider what action to take, they’re exchanging ideas by e-mail, outside public view.