2017 ORS 192.431¹
Court authority in reviewing action denying right to inspect public records
  • docketing
  • costs and attorney fees

(1) In any suit filed under ORS 192.401 (Records of health professional regulatory boards, Health Licensing Office), 192.411 (Petition to review denial of right to inspect state public record), 192.415 (Procedure to review denial of right to inspect other public records), 192.422 (Petition form) or 192.427 (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 192.401 (Records of health professional regulatory boards, Health Licensing Office), 192.411 (Petition to review denial of right to inspect state public record), 192.415 (Procedure to review denial of right to inspect other public records), 192.422 (Petition form) or 192.427 (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 General’s order in full and did not issue a notice of intention to institute proceedings pursuant to ORS 192.411 (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. [Formerly 192.490]

Notes of Decisions

Failure of legislature to include reference to courts and court records such as those particularly named in ORS 192.005 (Definitions for ORS 192.005 to 192.170) tells against applica­tion of these sec­tions to courts. State ex rel KOIN-TV v. Olsen, 300 Or 392, 711 P2d 966 (1985)

School district’s blanket policy exempting public records from disclosure without individualized showing, violates public records law and is therefore unenforceable. Guard Publishing Co. v. Lane County School Dist., 310 Or 32, 791 P2d 854 (1990)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Financial state­ments of hospitals as public records, (1974) Vol 36, p 893; crim­i­nal records subject to Public Records Law, (1974) Vol 37, p 126; power of county to refuse the right to copy maps, which are public records, with an individual’s own equip­ment and to refuse to supply magnetic tape containing public records, (1979) Vol 39, p 721; Oregon Medical Insurance Pool is funda­mentally private-sector body, under virtually total private control, created by state to fulfill public purpose and is not state agency or public body subject to Public Records Law, (1989) Vol 46, p 155; ap­pli­ca­bil­i­ty to prison work program records, (1996) Vol 48, p 134; disclosure of per­sonal in­for­ma­­tion obtained from motor vehicle records, (1998) Vol 49, p 127

Law Review Cita­tions

53 OLR 354-363 (1974); 55 OLR 354-359 (1976); 56 OLR 387 (1977)

Chapter 192

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Attorney General’s Public Meetings and Records Manual, (1973) Vol 36, p 543; public meetings and records manual, (1976) Vol 37, p 1087; pro­hi­bi­­tion on disclosing marriage records, (1998) Vol 49, p 21

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 192—Records; Public Reports and Meetings, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors192.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 192, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano192.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.