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Hackney favors another run at records bill

House Speaker Joe Hackney says he is willing to take another run at a bill that would award legal fees to those who win in public records lawsuits.

Open government types and news organizations sometimes complain that the expense of successfully suing a governmental body or agency over public records disputes discourages such lawsuits. They say that automatically awarding legal fees would give government officials pause before restricting the public's access to records. 

A bill that would automatically award fees in such cases sailed through the Senate but died in the House last session. Bill Holmes, a spokesman for Hackney, said the Speaker is interested in passing a bill that would allow automatic recovery of costs as long as it wouldn't strip all discretion away from judges.

"He just wants to make sure the fees are reasonable," Holmes said. "There's no other area of law in North Carolina that allows for automatic recovery of fees."


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Re: Hackney favors another run at records bill

If you're going to do that then you should require all persons, counties and municipalities who sue a government entity and lose should pay the legal costs of the government entity defending its position.

Re: Hackney favors another run at records bill

About time. Geez

But they need to make them pay out of their personal pockets, not our's.

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