Blog Posts

    D.C. Court Decides Mayor-Council Conflict Over FOIA Law: Upholds Online Publication Requirement

    July 24, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE: The District filed its initial notice of appeal August 5, and asked the courts to stay the orders of Superior Court Judge Pasichow. Action shifts to the D.C. Court of Appeals, Case No. 21 CV 543. An average appeal takes over a year. In its stay request, the District again argued that the E-FOIA […]

    Progress Towards Online Access to Records at D.C. Court of Appeals

    July 20, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The District’s high court is taking steps to allow public online access to case documents, according to a recent notice. It announces the Court of Appeals has “decided to adopt a pilot project” that will open files in some civil cases. The notice includes only an initial step, ordering personal information out of all court […]

    Coalition Welcomes Open Police Records Bill

    July 18, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson has proposed legislation to allow public access to most police disciplinary records.   A broad police reform bill introduced last Monday (12) would amend the D.C. Freedom of Information Act so that exemptions used for years by police officials to deny public records requests will no longer apply. In addition, […]

    Is Open Government Returning Along with Monuments, Movies, and More?

    July 16, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    TSA screened more air travelers July 4 than any day since 2019, the Capitol fence is down, the zoo and some Smithsonian museums are open, the Washington Monument reopened Wednesday (14), the Nationals hosted 37,187 (90% capacity) for the Dodgers game July 4. And with 81 percent of theaters open, millions watched Disney blockbuster “Black […]

    Office of Administrative Hearings Gets Marching Orders on Improved Transparency from D.C. Council

    July 8, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C. Council is recommending a dozen new actions by the Office of Administrative Hearings. Some are to address problems of electronic case filing and online public information the committee calls “critical.” According to the Council, information systems at the busy court are ”outdated and inaccessible.” Along with a half-million-dollar budget bump for added OAH […]

    D.C. Council Requires Schedule for Tech Upgrade at Office of Administrative Hearings Including Publishing Opinions

    June 16, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The Office of Administrative Hearings after years of delay this week agreed to set a schedule for beginning electronic document filing and publishing online case information including opinions. These have been routine in other courts in the District, and nationwide, for many years. The newly-confirmed chief judge, M. Colleen Currie, in her first budget hearing […]

    Coalition Announces “Digging into DC” Trainings: July 20 Initial Session to Focus on Education

    June 14, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 7/25/21: Video of this event is available here. Want to know how much DC spends on your child’s school? Worried about staffing cuts? Interested in the health and safety conditions of school facilities? We’re excited to bring together transparency advocates for the first in a series of “Digging into DC” trainings to help you […]

    Still Crickets on Our Request for Data on Covid in Schools and Daycares, and Watch This Space for Plans for Open Gov Training

    June 1, 2021, by Sandra Moscoso

    This piece was written by DCOGC Board Member Sandra Moscoso and edited by Board Member Miranda Spivack. This post is part of a series that will become a case study in the upcoming D.C. Open Government Coalition’s open government education and training program. We are planning to hold our first session on Zoom will be […]

    Coalition Again Urges D.C. Council to Allow Public Access for Press and Research While Sealing Eviction Records Against High-Tech Misuse

    May 24, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Court data show only 1 in 20 D.C. eviction lawsuits actually results in eviction and the average owed is $1200, according to Georgetown researchers Brian McCabe and Eva Rosen. For landlords, easy access to the D.C. Landlord-Tenant Court means a lawsuit can serve as a cheap debt-collection tool, a procedural nightmare visited on a tenant […]

    Public Comments Support Expanded Online Access to Records at D.C. Court of Appeals

    May 11, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Recently the D.C. Open Government Coalition hoped to review an appeal in progress in D.C.’s highest court, to weigh possible assistance with a friend-of-the-court brief. No button in the online list of pending cases allowed clicking to read or download the briefs electronically, unlike in D.C. Superior Court or federal courts elsewhere in town. Impossible […]