In Arlington, Open Records Not So Open?

Speaking of criminals ...

Courthouse News today has this lawsuit brought by an Austin law firm against the City of Arlington, in which Sullo & Bobbitt PLLC claims that the city, by moving its criminal records to municipal court, is attempting to restrict access to docs every other city in the state makes readily available for public viewing. Says the complaint, Arlington's looking to sidestep public-records requests -- which seems to be a common complaint in Tarrant County these days. Says the lawsuit, filed last week in Tarrant County District Court, "It's the same criminal information that has traditionally been readily available -- and still is in other Texas cities -- but with the new label 'judiciary,' Arlington limits the public's right to access that information."

According to the complaint, the law firm went to the Texas Attorney General's Office for a ruling, at which point Arlington and Judge Stewart Milner said, Tough, not public records, so there. But the firm could sort through the paper docs, one ... case ... at ... a ... time.

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