Judge rules in favor of Odessa American, denies city request to dismiss public information lawsuit

By the Odessa American
Originally published Oct. 12, 2020

A visiting state district judge has denied the City of Odessa’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by the Odessa American to force the city to comply with public information laws.

It took only a few days for Judge Rodney Satterwhite to review arguments and rule Monday that the OA’s lawsuit should be allowed to proceed.

Attorneys for the city wanted Satterwhite to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing in a hearing Thursday that as a matter of jurisdiction, the judge did not have the power to adjudicate the legal matter.

But attorneys representing the newspaper countered that the city’s alleged violations of the Texas Public Information Act were obvious and that the OA’s claim was a cut-and-dry legal question that the judge had every right to decide.

“We are pleased with this ruling and will proceed with prosecuting our case, because the public has a right to public information and records, and the city is legally obliged to provide it; not control and censor it,” OA Publisher Patrick Canty said. “The motion that was denied was merely a case of the city’s attorneys scattering marbles on the floor — tactics aimed at delaying this case in hopes we would tire of it and go away.”

Read the full article here.