NOVEMBER 19, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHLBERG LAW, PLLC, ON BEHALF OF ITS CLIENT, JASON KLOHS, HAS SUED MARCY-HOLMES NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION FOR VIOLATION OF THE MINNESOTA GOVERNMENT DATA PRACTICES ACT.
After waiting six weeks to receive a response from Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (“MHNA”) to a data practices request, Jason Klohs (“Mr. Klohs”) has sued MHNA for violation of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and requested declaratory, injunctive, and other relief.
Mr. Klohs, who is embroiled in a grievance with MHNA over its membership policy, use of government funds, and other issues, submitted a data request on October 5, 2009. The request sought data related to MHNA activities under an NRP contract MHNA entered into with the City of Minneapolis. MHNA explained that it sought assistance from outside counsel on October 26, 2009 but has yet to respond, despite demand.
After significant research, we believe the law is clear that a private non-profit corporation contracting with a government entity, such as the City of Minneapolis, must comply with the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 13, which is commonly known as the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. Compliance is required when the government entity contracts with the private entity, as Minneapolis did with MHNA.
The request is important for Mr. Klohs and his ongoing grievance because the data requested has never been in the possession of the City. We feel that because MHNA uses NRP and other government funds for activities and programs, the law subjects the data created by those activities and programs to the public data law of the State.
For the moment, Mr. Klohs’ grievances are on hold, but more information will be available as the data issue progresses over the next few weeks.