Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No ruling yet

SACRAMENTO — The 3rd District Court of Appeal issued no decision regarding the Tracy Press' Public Records Act Request against the city of Tracy today. But the court did try to shoot plenty of holes in the Press' argument.

The main focus was on a relatively minor procedural issue, but one that could lead to the outright dismissal of the case. It involves whether the Press' appeal improperly left off Councilwoman Suzanne Tucker's name (she was named as a party when the case appeared before the Superior Court in May 2007).

The court decided to hammer home this issue, asking questions of the Press' attorneys before the oral arguments even began, returning to the procedural question time and again. What many of us thought was the main issue — whether the e-mails sent from Tucker's personal computer concerning public business are public records — was largely MIA.

If the case is dismissed, the court will have missed an opportuntity to ensure that public records and open meeting laws cannot be legally skirted by using private means of communication. But guessing that the court will dismiss the case is, at this point, pure conjecture.

The decision is expected within 30 days. We'll keep you posted.

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