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Sender Name:
Town of Chevy Chase
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(Automatically Sent By Website)
Send Date:
7/7/2015 10:44:23 AM
Email Subject:
Town Prevails in ACT Lawsuit

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The Town of Chevy Chase has prevailed in a lawsuit, brought by the Action Committee for Transit (ACT), alleging that the Town violated the state’s Public Information Act by not providing certain confidential documents related to Town efforts regarding the Purple Line or by assessing fees to provide certain other documents.

On June 30, the Montgomery County Circuit Court ruled that the Town did not violate the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) by denying ACT’s request for closed session minutes of the Town Council since such documents are required to be protected from disclosure under state law. The judge also ruled that the Town did not violate the MPIA by denying ACT’s requests for a fee waiver to provide certain requested documents, nor did the Town violate the MPIA by denying ACT’s requests to provide two hours of free research in addition to the two hours already provided by the Town.

The Town argued, and the Court agreed, that Town may impose a reasonable fee before producing documents in response to an MPIA request; that the Town is not automatically required to waive certain fees solely because a requester claims that it cannot afford to pay or because certain affiliations are cited; that the Town did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in denying ACT’s requests for fee waivers; and that the Town was permitted to consider the identity and purpose of the requesters in denying ACT’s fee waiver requests. Finally, the court found that ACT was not entitled to an award of counsel fees or costs under the state’s Public Information Act.

The Town is very pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit and is proud of its record of compliance with the state’s public information laws.


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The Town of Chevy Chase has prevailed in a lawsuit, brought by the Action Committee for Transit (ACT), alleging that the Town violated the state’s Public Information Act by not providing certain confidential documents related to Town efforts regarding the Purple Line or by assessing fees to provide certain other documents.

On June 30, the Montgomery County Circuit Court ruled that the Town did not violate the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) by denying ACT’s request for closed session minutes of the Town Council since such documents are required to be protected from disclosure under state law. The judge also ruled that the Town did not violate the MPIA by denying ACT’s requests for a fee waiver to provide certain requested documents, nor did the Town violate the MPIA by denying ACT’s requests to provide two hours of free research in addition to the two hours already provided by the Town.

The Town argued, and the Court agreed, that Town may impose a reasonable fee before producing documents in response to an MPIA request; that the Town is not automatically required to waive certain fees solely because a requester claims that it cannot afford to pay or because certain affiliations are cited; that the Town did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in denying ACT’s requests for fee waivers; and that the Town was permitted to consider the identity and purpose of the requesters in denying ACT’s fee waiver requests. Finally, the court found that ACT was not entitled to an award of counsel fees or costs under the state’s Public Information Act.

The Town is very pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit and is proud of its record of compliance with the state’s public information laws.

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The Town has prevailed in the ACT lawsuit. More information is available at www.townofchevychase.org.