Santa Clara Court Case Moves Forward

One more step was taken toward the judicial resolution of the dispute between advocates for access to government GIS basemap data and Santa Clara County, which contends it has the right to withhold government geodata from the public or sell it at a high price. On January 15, 2009, the California Court of Appeal (Sixth Appellate District) heard oral arguments from Santa Clara County, the “petitioner” appealing the California Superior Court’s decision in favor of the California First Amendment Coalition’s (CFAC) demand for the County’s data. The Appeals Court also heard arguments by CFAC, the “real party of interest,” that the California Public Records Act (CPRA) requires unfettered distribution of the County’s data.

Ten months after the Superior Court’s order that the County must distribute its data according to the CPRA (May, 2007), the Court of Appeals agreed to consider the County’s appeal of the decision. And ten months after that, the appeal was heard in Court. The Court of Appeal must now issue its decision within 90 days.

Source: Bruce Joffee, January 27, 2009

Prior blog posting on Santa Clara: https://geodatapolicy.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/are-government-parcel-gis-data-subject-to-open-records-law/

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