Q&A: Annexation information

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The Reporter-Times (Martinsville):

Q: The newspaper has requested a copy of the list of properties that will be included in a proposed annexation by the city of Martinsville.

The city attorney said the city doesn’t have to provide us with a copy, but we can inspect the list. Is that correct under the law according to the Access to Public Records Act? 

A: The city’s attorney is correct that public agencies are not required to provide lists of names and addresses unless the list is required to be published or disseminated by law.

But it must allow a person to inspect the list and make “memoranda abstracts” from the list unless prohibited by law. See IC 5-14-3-3(f).

This restriction on release of the copy is at the discretion of the public agency, so the immediate question for the city is why it wants to keep the list secret.

Are officials concerned that those on the list might not want to be annexed and would fight the effort if the newspaper reveals that they are in the affected area?

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

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