Judge: Louisiana records law not solely for state citizens

Posted at 2:22 PM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 15:22:20-05

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A judge spurned Attorney General Jeff Landry’s argument that Louisiana’s public records law only applies to state citizens, refusing to throw out a lawsuit filed by an Indiana woman.

But state district Judge William Morvant also Thursday wouldn’t heavily penalize the Republican attorney general for the lengthy time it took his office to turn over the records the woman requested.

Instead, Landry’s office will have to pay attorney’s fees to Scarlett Martin. Martin’s lawyer, Chris Whittington, estimated that would cost the attorney general’s office about $25,000.

Martin sought records about Landry’s dealings with the oil industry, travel, vehicle purchases and contracts. She received thousands of documents, but only after she filed her lawsuit.

Landry argued Martin didn’t have the right to sue because she doesn’t live in Louisiana. Morvant disagreed.