What do you have the right to know?
You probably know that you have a “right to know,” but do you actually know what you have a right to know?
Public access to court and other governmental records in Pennsylvania is governed by the so-called right to know law, 65 P.S. §§67.101 et seq., (“RTKL”). The statute is designed to ensure that citizens, upon request, may see certain local, legislative and judicial records. The goal is to promote transparency within our government to provide citizens with information on what the government is doing. While there are some limitations on the types of documents that must be produced, it is the general principle that the government may not secretly create laws and control our actions without making the reasoning and the financial aspects accessible.
There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the right to know law because of a gray area in information that arguably should be part of transparency in government, This information could be protected by the right to know law. Recently, the Centre County judicial system has been at the center of attention on this topic, with a considerable amount of taxpayer money being devoted to litigation on right to know disclosures.
If you have questions about access to judicial records or other information about the legal system, you can begin by consulting with your lawyer. When you hire an attorney to assist you with legal issues, you have a right to know the reasons for your lawyer’s actions and your financial contributions to success. Your attorney should not hesitate to provide you with information to help you understand the laws and factual circumstances that affect the legal advice that they give you. You may access your legal file and, most importantly, you should be able to easily access your lawyer with an old-fashioned letter, an email or a phone call. You have a right to know the status of your case and, most importantly, what your lawyer is doing for you.
Our lawyers at The Mazza Law Group, P.C. strive to provide you with consistent updates and information about your legal rights and obligations. One of our goals is to remain accessible to our clients, without complicated restrictions. Our actions and obligations are defined by the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. Please contact us to find out how we can help you with your legal problem.
What do you have the right to know? was last modified: February 24th, 2016 by Judith Homan