Constitutional Law

Lawyer Plans to Sue Town Over Citizen E-Mail Addresses Given to Others


A Florida lawyer who is a resident and volunteer in Miami Lakes plans to sue the municipality over its policy of treating citizen e-mail addresses as public records.

Ceasar Mestri announced his plan to seek a declaratory judgment from a state court on the issue at yesterday’s town council meeting, saying that he thinks residents have an expectation of privacy concerning this personal information, reports the Miami Herald (reg. req.).

The state’s sunshine laws give residents sweeping rights of access to government documents, and Mayor Mayor Michael Pizzi says he would welcome the clarification Mestri’s legal action would provide. He also says he has asked for legal advice about whether citizen e-mail addresses should be considered public when they are provided to the town.

Says Mestri, “It just doesn’t seem right that if my 16-year-old daughter decides to come to the Valentine’s dance here at the park and checks in, writes down her name, her address, her phone number and her e-mail, that somebody should be able to come to town hall and ask for that information.”

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