Right-to-Know Requests

Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law (PA-RTKL) is expansive in granting the public the right to access documents and electronic records held by government agencies that document their activities.

Jonathan P. Newcomb, a partner with the firm, has argued before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, en banc, in two separate cases, Iverson v. Montgomery County and Scott v. Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Attorneys at Spino & Newcomb apply large scale litigation E-discovery techniques to aid towns in fashioning policies capable of bringing an agency in compliance with the law. If you represent a town, school board, government agency, county or other governmental office, give us a call and see how we can help you handle your duties to comply with the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law. Our attorneys have litigated decisions handed down by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records (OOR) for members of the public and special interest groups which were appealed by agencies covered under the PA-RTKL. Spino & Newcomb's attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of the PA-RTKL and the process by which OOR decisions are litigated in county or Commonwealth Court. Agencies that are subject to the PA-RTKL include:

  • School districts
  • Municipalities & Counties
  • Planning commissions
  • State offices (i.e. The Gaming Control Board)
  • Judicial Agencies
  • Public transportation operators
  • Police

Spino & Newcomb provides assistance in open records request matters, and provide assistance with responses and litigation of the matters in court.

Formulating and Litigating your Appeal

Responses to records requests or agencies is a complicated process that should not be taken lightly should the records request face future litigation in court. Spino & Newcomb specializes in taking charge of the request to review the legal issues of the information sought, and generate a solid response that addresses all of the matters at hand. Spino & Newcomb is experienced in responding to decisions by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, county courts and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

The Appeals Process

Often times a requester finds that their request for records has been denied by the agency whose records are sought. This initiates the appeals process beginning at the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. The process may advance through the court system if subsequent decisions are appealed through the court system, which can include:

  • County Court
  • Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
  • Pennsylvania State Supreme Court

Spino & Newcomb has experience in navigating the appeals process, starting at the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, through the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

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