Arkansas Supreme Court Rules Utility Must Disclose Ratepayer's Info

Apr 3, 2014

The Arkansas Supreme Court says that a municipal utility cannot withhold a ratepayer's home address under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Justices on Thursday reversed a Monroe County judge's ruling that the Brinkley Water and Sewer Department was not required to release a ratepayer's home address in response to an open records request.

The utility had cited privacy concerns in withholding the ratepayer's address.

The Supreme Court ruled that the municipal utility didn't point to any law that exempts the address from release under the state's FOIA. Justices said whether to grant such exemptions are a matter for the Legislature, not the court to decide.

Justice Cliff Hoofman dissented, saying he didn't believe the Legislature intended for public utility ratepayer addresses to be released.