2020 Georgia Code
Title 50 - State Government
Chapter 18 - State Printing and Documents
Article 4 - Inspection of Public Records
§ 50-18-73. Jurisdiction to Enforce Article; Attorney's Fees and Litigation Expenses; Good Faith Reliance as Defense to Action

Universal Citation: GA Code § 50-18-73 (2020)
  1. The superior courts of this state shall have jurisdiction in law and in equity to entertain actions against persons or agencies having custody of records open to the public under this article to enforce compliance with the provisions of this article. Such actions may be brought by any person, firm, corporation, or other entity. In addition, the Attorney General shall have authority to bring such actions in his or her discretion as may be appropriate to enforce compliance with this article and to seek either civil or criminal penalties or both.
  2. In any action brought to enforce the provisions of this chapter in which the court determines that either party acted without substantial justification either in not complying with this chapter or in instituting the litigation, the court shall, unless it finds that special circumstances exist, assess in favor of the complaining party reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred. Whether the position of the complaining party was substantially justified shall be determined on the basis of the record as a whole which is made in the proceeding for which fees and other expenses are sought.
  3. Any agency or person who provides access to information in good faith reliance on the requirements of this chapter shall not be liable in any action on account of such decision.

(Code 1981, §50-18-73, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 1789, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 243, § 4; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1061, § 9; Ga. L. 1998, p. 595, § 2; Ga. L. 2012, p. 218, § 2/HB 397.)

The 2012 amendment, effective April 17, 2012, in the third sentence of subsection (a), deleted ", either civil or criminal," following "bring such actions" near the middle, and added "and to seek either civil or criminal penalties or both" at the end; and substituted "account of such decision" for "account of having provided access to such information" at the end of subsection (c).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, "it" was substituted for "if" in subsection (b).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Exhaustion of administrative remedies as prerequisite to judicial action to compel disclosure under state freedom of information acts, 114 A.L.R.5th 283.

Construction and application of state freedom of information act provisions concerning award of attorney's fees and other litigation costs, 118 A.L.R.5th 1.

Allowance of punitive damages in state freedom of information actions, 13 A.L.R.6th 721.

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