92-21Posted on Oct 27, 1992 in Formal Opinions
Opinion Letter No. 92-21
October 27, 1992
Settlement Agreement in 1963 Anti-Trust Suit
A settlement agreement in a 1963 film exhibition anti-trust suit brought by the State must be made available for public inspection and copying by the Department of the Attorney General. The OIP reached this conclusion despite the presence of a clause in a court-approved stipulation between the State and the defendants that the Attorney General argued could reasonably be construed to contain a promise by the State not to disclose the settlement agreement. Based upon court decisions surveyed in a 1989 opinion letter, the OIP stated that a public entity cannot enter into enforceable promises of confidentiality regarding records (or information contained therein) that are not protected by an applicable statutory exception.