Virginia Supreme Court to Hear Clifton Elementary Case
The state Supreme Court meets Monday to hear the controversial case involving public records.
The Virginia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case today involving public records related to the decision to close Clifton Elementary School.
The lawsuit, filed by resident Jill DeMello Hill last year, argued that elected officials, members of the school board, violated FOIA laws by emailing each other about the school’s closure before a July 2010 public meeting was held on the matter, among other issues.
The Circuit Court of Fairfax County initially dismissed DeMello's complaint against the school board.
If the appeal is successful, it will not necessarily lead to the school’s reopening, but it could mean that the board would be required to once again take a look at the situation, said Michael Guiffre of Patton Boggs, the Washington D.C.-based firm that is representing Hill.
The Washington Post reported Friday that in a brief related to the matter, attorneys representing the school board argued that further constraints on communication among board members would disrupt the “balance between government transparency and efficiency.”
A separate lawsuit filed by a group of Clifton parents that had to do with the merits of the board’s decision to close the school was struck down in Fairfax County courts. The Virginia Supreme Court determined earlier this year that they would not be hearing that case.