Boren v. Taylor

This case presents the res nova issue of whether an attorney, representing an incarcerated felon, is subject to the provisions of La. R.S. 44:31.1, when making a public records request to obtain information relative to a potential post-conviction relief application. Both the district court and the appellate court in this case held that the provisions of La. R.S. 44:31.1 were applicable to the public records request of petitioner, attorney James Boren, reasoning, in essence, that Mr. Boren stood in the shoes of his client, Stephan Bergeron, an incarcerated felon who had exhausted his appellate remedies. Therefore, the lower courts ruled that Boren was required to satisfy the necessary inquiries of the custodian (here, the St. Landry Parish District Attorney) to ascertain “if the request of any such individual in custody for a felony conviction is limited to grounds upon which such individual may file for post conviction relief under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 930.3,” as provided by La. R.S. 44:31.1. Because the defendant/custodian denied Boren’s public records request in this case on the basis of La. R.S. 44:31.1, for his failure to answer an inquiry as to “the grounds for post-conviction relief” to be put forth on behalf of Bergeron, the denial was improper. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Boren v. Taylor" on Justia Law