In the Court hearing this morning, the Judge considered the City’s motion to “quash” as a motion to continue, and set a date for a hearing on status for September 18, 2017. The City Attorney claimed we had not notified her appropriately about the hearing date (although we served our notice to the City Office, the same place the Attorney General used to communicate with the City). Texts we received from the City Attorney less than 24 hours after the notice was delivered to City Hall show that there was no problem with her being aware of the hearing.
When the complaint was originally served back in May, the Sheriff served Carol McGhygy as FOIA Officer, but apparently that does not qualify as notice being served on the City (this was what the City Attorney claimed, and the Judge affirmed), so we now must serve the City individually from the FOIA Officer. Confusing, we know, but the process matters, so we will now serve the City as well. The City Attorney waited until this moment to inform anyone of that concern, in spite of having the complaint for nearly three months.
The City also filed a motion to dismiss. The Judge asked how soon we would be ready to respond, and we replied “we’re ready now, the City has not provided all documents,” the Judge then asked how soon to provide a written response, we said “tomorrow morning,” he smiled, and set the date for Friday. We’ll submit our written response tomorrow, and when we are back in court on September 18th, he can see that the City has not complied with our request.
Unfortunately, this serves as another delay, at the City’s request, that will further postpone gaining access to information in FOIA requests that were originally filed in April, four months ago (even though the statute allows only five days). We are confident that the court will ultimately require the City to provide all information to the citizens of Nauvoo, just as the Attorney General recently did. This is simply delaying the inevitable.
We are happy to comply with the courts procedural rules, and believe they are an integral part of the judicial system. We now have a copy of the Ninth Circuit Court rules and the State Supreme Court rules, and are reviewing them to ensure we comply. The City, through its attorney appears concerned about compliance with court rules, without the same concern for compliance with the State’s FOIA law.