State Public Records Just for Residents, Landry Says

Louisiana State Attorney General Jeff Landry, in the midst of a lawsuit brought upon by researcher Scarlett Martin, is attempting to have a district judge rule in his favor by dismissing the case, by using a state law technicality they say is crystal clear.

The suit deals with Martin’s request for documents relating to Landry’s oil industry work, and the slow response from his office. His team, who claim to have provided over 10,000 files already, say that LA Public Records Law doesn’t apply to Martin, who lives in Indiana.

This isn’t the first time Martin has sued Landry. In 2017, she challenged the Attorney General for violating the public records law, asking for payment in legal fees and for the court to fine him for each violation. Of course, the administration – while acknowledging the slow process in paperwork and handling – feels it has done nothing wrong and seeks to toss out the argument by noting that Martin is not privileged to the information in the first place.

Landry’s legal team has been quoted with saying:

“The state, however, does not extend the compact with its citizens to non-citizens and residents of other states and countries,”

The issue, which dates back to September of 2016, looks to be settled once the trial begins on January 10th. Why Scarlett Martin wants these documents or what she hopes to find are not yet known, and her legal representatives say it “is not relevant under the law.”

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