Virginia high court rules against newspaper in FOIA lawsuit

Freedom of Information Act

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia newspaper has lost a bid to compel the release of a statewide database of court records.

The Daily Press had sought to get access to a database that includes the names and races of criminal defendants from the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The newspaper filed a lawsuit after its Freedom of Information Act request was denied.

Virginia's highest court ruled against the newspaper on Thursday.

The Virginia Supreme Court said the newspaper has to request the information from individual court clerks. The judges said the General Assembly has designated the court clerks as the "custodians" of court records.

The Virginia Supreme Court decision upholds a lower court ruling denying the newspaper's request.