Southern Indiana judge orders New Albany to release public records

A southern Indiana judge has ordered the city of New Albany to release public records sought by three residents who sued the city in a bid to force the records’ release.

The judge’s Dec. 18 order states that the Ohio River city must provide public documents requested in August by the three Floyd County residents or be fined $50 per day if it doesn’t produce the records within 10 days.

The judge also ordered the city to pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys fees, which total more than $2,000, the News and Tribune reported.

Irvin Stumler and two other plaintiffs sued the city in August over its failure to respond to their request for records from the city attorney, city controller and city parks director. Stumler said he and the two others are looking forward to seeing the records they’ve been seeking for months.

“We’re entitled to see them, any citizen has the right to see what has taken place,” he said.

The plaintiffs had also filed a formal complaint with Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt. He issued an opinion Oct. 30, finding the city had violated Indiana’s public records law, both by failing to give any response to the initial requests for the information, and then by failing to respond to the public access office after it notified the city of the complaint.

New Albany city attorney Shane Gibson said the city intends to comply with the court order.

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