Benny White, JD
August 24, 2021
On Thursday of last week the Arizona Court of Appeals issued its decision that the trial court decisions in American Oversight v Fann would be upheld. There were two decisions by Judge Kemp at the trial court level earlier. One was that the Senate had to produce records being requested by various parties and that they had to collect records their agents had accumulated while doing work for the Senate. In addition, those records had to be produced by August 31.
On Friday, the Senate filed a Petition to Review (PR) with the Arizona Supreme Court in order to appeal the decision by the Court of Appeals. The immediate result of that action was to continue the Stay for release of public records that was ordered initially by the Court of Appeals before they heard the case last Wednesday. So, for the moment, no one is getting any public records from the Senate or their agents.
The Arizona Supreme Court is not obligated to grant review of the decision by the Court of Appeals. However, they probably will due to the fact that the matter is of statewide importance and involves a high level of public interest. The Justices can take their time to decide whether or not to hear the appeal and then when various pleadings must be filed. In short, I don’t expect a quick decision from the court but we might hear something by the end of next week.