1. Records. Any person aggrieved by a refusal or denial to inspect or copy a record or the failure to allow the inspection or copying of a record under section 408-A may appeal the refusal, denial or failure within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the written notice of refusal, denial or failure to the Superior Court within the State for the county where the person resides or the agency has its principal office. The agency or official shall file a statement of position explaining the basis for denial within 14 calendar days of service of the appeal. If a court, after a review, with taking of testimony and other evidence as determined necessary, determines such refusal, denial or failure was not for just and proper cause, the court shall enter an order for disclosure. Appeals may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other cases when the court determines that the interests of justice so require.
[ 2015, c. 249, §2 (AMD) .]
2. Actions. If any body or agency approves any ordinances, orders, rules, resolutions, regulations, contracts, appointments or other official action in an executive session, this action is illegal and the officials responsible are subject to the penalties hereinafter provided. Upon learning of any such action, any person may appeal to any Superior Court in the State. If a court, after a trial de novo, determines this action was taken illegally in an executive session, it shall enter an order providing for the action to be null and void. Appeals may be advanced on the docket and receive priority over other cases when the court determines that the interests of justice so require.
[ 2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §2 (AMD) .]
3. Proceedings not exclusive. The proceedings authorized by this section are not exclusive of any other civil remedy provided by law.
[ 2009, c. 240, §6 (AMD) .]
4. Attorney’s fees. In an appeal under subsection 1 or 2, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation expenses to the substantially prevailing plaintiff who appealed the refusal under subsection 1 or the illegal action under subsection 2 if the court determines that the refusal or illegal action was committed in bad faith. Attorney’s fees and litigation costs may not be awarded to or against a federally recognized Indian tribe.
This subsection applies to appeals under subsection 1 or 2 filed on or after January 1, 2010.
[ 2009, c. 423, §1 (NEW) .]
1975, c. 758, (NEW). 1987, c. 477, §5 (AMD). 2007, c. 695, Pt. C, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 240, §§5, 6 (AMD). 2009, c. 423, §1 (AMD). 2011, c. 559, Pt. A, §§1, 2 (AMD). 2011, c. 662, §6 (AMD). 2013, c. 350, §3 (AMD). 2015, c. 249, §2 (AMD).