California’s top court agreed Friday to decide whether government employees’ personal texts and e-mails are subject to disclosure under public records law.
At least one other state high court, Alaska’s, has already required disclosure and preservation of those communications if they deal with government business. Arizona’s highest court has ruled that private communications with a “substantial nexus” to government activity are subject to disclosure.
Still, there’s been a hodgepodge of lower-court state rulings nationwide on the topic, leaving much of the country’s public officials across the 50 states to conceal their official communications from public review. Federal officials’ private electronic communications, however, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act if they concern government business.