A consent order was entered into today in respect to FOI requests to the University of Virginia under Virginia FOI legislation by the American Tradition Institute. The order in case CL-11-3236 dated May 24, 2011 stated:
it is therefore ADJUDGED ORDERED and DECREED as follows: The Respondent [UVA] shall complete its supply of requested documents no later than 90 days after the date of this order and will supply them in electronic form.
As I understand the order, information claimed to be Exempt Information will be filed under seal and, after examination of the Exempt Information, the Parties have an opportunity for in camera review to determine their final status i.e. upholding the exemption or refusing the exemption. Any documents where the exemption was refused would no longer be under seal.
UPDATE: statement from ATI and Chris Horner (added by Anthony Watts at 11:30PM EST )
In short, the University was forced to part ways from supporting the PFAW/ACLU/AAAS/AAUP demands and Mann’s interests, and start working to make itself look less bad to a court. Beginning by agreeing to let us see it all — ‘it’ being the records as described in the AG’s CID — and begin the process of identifying what within that ‘all’ it was going to fight over and why. See attached.
So we get it all, and electronically, including the coded material oddly delivered in printed form when mailed to us last week.*
They must isolate and declare what they declare exempt and we’ll present what of that that’s withheld, that we want released, to the judge to decide whether it is rightly exempt under a specific FOIA exemption. What isn’t stamped is ours at that time w/o further fight. It is the University’s burden to argue that what they’ve claimed an exemption for must not be released, i.e., be returned to them.
*On Friday, with a hearing looming, they turned over a stack of records, apparently hurriedly produced, after we filed suit on Monday, with enough having become enough. Although a few decent items slipped through, inter alia affirming that ClimateGate appeared on its face to be, at least a couple of respects, they clearly turned over as much chaff as they could scrape together from the review they had largely been avoiding undertaking in the first place (pages and pages of ads in email threads, and the like) to show volume if not actual cooperation. But that era is over.