Government transparency is something we take for granted in the United States. As compared to many other countries in the world, our governmental structure offers far more transparency and the opportunity for regular citizens to see how lawmakers are working on a day-to-day basis. While we are lucky for that structure, that doesn’t mean the system is perfect. The Sunshine Act of 1976 is intended to protect transparency and allow citizens to observe various proceedings. When those rights are violated, legal action may be warranted. Contact Rinaldi & Poveromo to learn more about how we can fight to make sure sunshine laws are respected.
Sunshine Law Basics
Before you get into any legal battle regarding sunshine laws and government transparency, it’s important to understand what these laws are meant to protect – and what limitations they may have. While you, as a citizen, do have a right to observe many of the workings of many government agencies, there are exceptions that should be noted.
The core of these laws is access to things like votes, deliberations, meetings, etc. Those kinds of proceedings are not supposed to happen out of the public view and behind closed doors. Instead, they are supposed to be seen by anyone interested. This kind of transparency is designed to add accountability to the system and encourage participation from the public.
Also, advance notice is an essential part of sunshine law requirements. If a government agency meeting is held and is technically open to the public, but it is only announced 10 minutes before it takes place, what good is the open nature of the meeting? No one would be able to make time to plan to attend, meaning the meeting might as well be held behind closed doors.
Exceptions to sunshine laws can pop up from time to time, often when personal privacy matters are at stake. If something is currently under legal investigation or public access to the proceeding would endanger an individual’s privacy, the government agency may make an exception and keep the event out of public view. This kind of privacy is supposed to be the exception and not the rule when it comes to government operations.
Getting Legal Help
You might feel like your sunshine law rights have been violated in a specific case, but it can be hard to work through all legal requirements to support your claim. If you are wondering about your rights and how a recent government event or decision might have impacted them, call Rinaldi & Poveromo today. We can offer you a variety of services in these kinds of cases, including analyzing the events that have taken place to determine whether or not any legal requirements were violated.
In addition to legal matters related to the sunshine law, Rinaldi & Poveromo can also offer counsel in many areas of administrative and municipal law. Our team also handles things like unemployment hearings, liquor license law disputes, and more.
Stand Up for Your Rights
Americans tend to be proud of their rights and freedoms and for good reason. If you’d like to do your part in standing up for what is fair, and you feel that a recent incident has violated the Sunshine Act, don’t hesitate to contact Rinaldi & Poveromo for a free consultation. We share your passion for freedom and transparency, and our team will work hard to present your case. Thank you for taking the time to consider Rinaldi & Poveromo.