Businesses and organizations that request public records from other states could find their access to such records restricted as a result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The Court's ruling upheld Virginia's prohibition on out-of-state residents and businesses using that State's open records law. The decision concluded that the right to request public records―with certain exceptions―may be restricted to in-state residents because they are ultimately responsible for the election of officials and the costs of responding to requests.

Several other states also have open records laws that prohibit out-of-state businesses and organizations from accessing their records, but they are rarely enforced. However, the Supreme Court's decision in the Virginia case could result in other states and municipalities more frequently denying records requests from out-of-state businesses and organizations.

Ballard Spahr’s Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting Group continues to track developments in open records laws to assist both public sector and private sector clients in understanding how those laws affect them. 

For more information, contact Michael D. Fabius at 215.864.8246 or, Kenneth M. Jarin at 215.864.8135 or, or Bill Curran at 702.387.3084 or

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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.

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Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting