2013 ORS § 192.490¹
Court authority in reviewing action denying right to inspect public records
  • docketing
  • costs and attorney fees

(1) In any suit filed under ORS 192.450 (Petition to review denial of right to inspect state public record), 192.460 (Procedure to review denial of right to inspect other public records), 192.470 (Petition form) or 192.480 (Procedure to review denial by elected official of right to inspect public records), the court has jurisdiction to enjoin the public body from withholding records and to order the production of any records improperly withheld from the person seeking disclosure. The court shall determine the matter de novo and the burden is on the public body to sustain its action. The court, on its own motion, may view the documents in controversy in camera before reaching a decision. Any noncompliance with the order of the court may be punished as contempt of court.

(2) Except as to causes the court considers of greater importance, proceedings arising under ORS 192.450 (Petition to review denial of right to inspect state public record), 192.460 (Procedure to review denial of right to inspect other public records), 192.470 (Petition form) or 192.480 (Procedure to review denial by elected official of right to inspect public records) take precedence on the docket over all other causes and shall be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way.

(3) If a person seeking the right to inspect or to receive a copy of a public record prevails in the suit, the person shall be awarded costs and disbursements and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal. If the person prevails in part, the court may in its discretion award the person costs and disbursements and reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal, or an appropriate portion thereof. If the state agency failed to comply with the Attorney Generals order in full and did not issue a notice of intention to institute proceedings pursuant to ORS 192.450 (Petition to review denial of right to inspect state public record) (2) within seven days after issuance of the order, or did not institute the proceedings within seven days after issuance of the notice, the petitioner shall be awarded costs of suit at the trial level and reasonable attorney fees regardless of which party instituted the suit and regardless of which party prevailed therein. [1973 c.794 §9; 1975 c.308 §3; 1981 c.897 §40]