PA Supreme Court: District Attorneys Not Judicial Agencies

Open records_logo stackedOn November 22, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that District Attorneys are not judicial agencies under the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL).

In the majority opinion in the case of Stacy Parks Miller v. Centre County, authored by Justice Wecht, the Supreme Court held that: “Examination of the RTKL, the definitional section of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 102, and the definitions provided in our Rules of Judicial Administration, demonstrate that a district attorney’s office is not a ‘judicial agency’ for purposes of the RTKL.”

The majority opinion was joined by Chief Justice Saylor and Justices Baer, Todd and Mundy. Justice Donohue authored a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Dougherty.

The distinction is significant because the RTKL applies in a very limited fashion to judicial agencies, which are required to provide only financial records. The law’s application to local agencies is much broader.

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