NPRI opposes CCSD attempt to stall lawsuit

  • Monday, March 24, 2014

CARSON CITY At the Nevada Supreme Court today, the Nevada Policy Research Institute filed an Opposition to the Clark County School District’s second motion to extend the period the Court had set for CCSD to respond to NPRI’s demand that it follow the Nevada Public Records Act (NPRA).

NPRI is seeking a list of government-issued email addresses for government employees, specifically teachers employed by CCSD.

For the second time since NPRI’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation (CJCL) filed its opening brief in the Nevada Supreme Court in mid-January, CCSD has waited until the 11th hour to ask the Court to extend the period it has been given to respond to the open-records case, claiming its team of attorneys is too busy with other matters. On March 20, the very day its response was due, CCSD filed for yet another 30-day extension. Previously, CCSD filed and the Court granted a 30-day extension.

Joseph Becker, director of NPRI’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation, released the following statement after filing the opposition Monday morning:

The Clark County School District is already infamous for stalling public-records requests and now it is trying to use those same delay tactics with Nevada’s Supreme Court.

The Nevada Public Records Act provides for expedited treatment by the courts, and CCSD’s second refusal to answer the appeal in the allotted time period serves as the latest instance in the school district’s history of non-compliance with the NPRA. Continual delays serve no purpose but to postpone needed transparency.

What makes this last delay tactic even more outrageous is that the private firm representing CCSD has three attorneys on the case, at least 40 attorneys on staff in its Las Vegas office and, in 2013, CCSD itself had a legal team of at least 10 attorneys.

We urge the Court to reject CCSD’s latest delay attempt and to continue the Supreme Court’s strong defense of Nevada’s Public Records Act, most recently seen in its Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada v. Reno Newspapers, Inc. decision.

Becker added that the Supreme Court of Nevada has previously found that even email content from government officials’ accounts is subject to Nevada’s Public Records Act, and he noted the absurdity of CCSD claiming that government-provided email addresses for government employees are confidential.

In January, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada filed an amicus brief in support of NPRI’s case and Nevada’s public-records law.

Case documents:

The Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation is a public-interest law organization that litigates when necessary to protect the fundamental rights of individuals as set forth in the state and federal constitutions.

Learn more about the Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation and this case at http://npri.org/litigation/.

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