Hopkins v. City of Brinkley (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
Jon Hopkins submitted multiple requests to Brinkley Water & Sewer Department (“BW&S”) for the home address and payment history of Kathryn Harris, a municipal-utility ratepayer and resident of the City of Brinkley. BW&S provided a redacted history of Harris’s account history but did not disclose her home address. The circuit court found that BW&S was not required to provide Hopkins with Harris’s home address, a “public record” as defined by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the circuit court erred in finding that the ratepayer’s home address was exempt from disclosure, as (1) the Federal Trade Commission’s Red Flags Rule does not preempt the FOIA’s disclosure requirements; (2) BW&S failed to offer proof that any customer’s home address qualifies as a “personal matter” and thus was “constitutionally protectable” under McCambridge v. City of Little Rock; and (3) Harris’s home address was available for inspection by Hopkins, irrespective of his purpose in seeking access.