These laws were enacted to empower citizens by affording them access to information concerning the activities of their government and are designed to promote access to official government information in order to prohibit secrets, scrutinize the actions of public officials and to make public officials accountable for their actions.
I’m am writing to you requesting Pro Bono legal assistance for my defense in the Right to Know Lawsuits brought against me by Londonderry Township, Dauphin County, PA. This is an urgent situation because of the volume of paperwork but primarily because of the time constraints dictated by the Court.
A favorable determination on the Township’s behalf would seriously weaken the Freedom of Information Act and the Pennsylvania RTKL and deny citizens access to public records and information of their government’s activities.
I have six lawsuits against me currently by Londonderry Township attempting to deny RTK Requests from me, “either directly, indirectly, through any member of my family, or in active concert or participation with any other person”.
The first is a Preliminary Injunction from the Court of Common Pleas to enjoin me from filing RTK Requests and Appeals to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, Docket 2018-CV-778-MD. This Injunction was granted by default because I could not travel to the Hearing from my home in South Florida to Harrisburg, PA in the time allotted. I did not receive the Official Order until the day of the hearing. My emails for a continuance were denied.
The second is the Civil Complaint comprised of 2 1/2 inches of paperwork seeking to make the Injunction permanent, Docket 2018-CV-778-MD
The third is an Appeal/Petition for Review of the RTK Granted to me the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records identified as Docket AP 2017-2372. The Court of Common Pleas Docket is 2018-CV-779-MD. This seeks to overturn the PA OOR Final Determination in my favor.
The fourth is a Motion for Contempt, Docket 2018-CV-778, for 2 RTK Requests dated 2/9/2018 and 3 Appeals dated 2/6/2018. The Order for the Injunction was dated 2/5/2018 but I did not receive it until 2/10/2018.
The fifth is a Petition for Review seeking to overturn 24 Appeals granted to me by the Pennsylvania Office Of Open Records. It also includes the the PA OOR as a defendant. Docket 2018-CV-1032-MD.
These lawsuits were filed against me because the PA OOR declined to act on the identical complaints.
I am a 76 year old retired former Financial Controller who has documented a plethora of financial and administrative improprieties of the Township’s activities. You can view some of these on my Facebook page. I have documentation for everything I’ve said. The Township’s lawsuits are to stop me from obtaining any more of their transgressions.
I do not have the financial resources or the legal acumen to travel to Harrisburg for each of the appearances demanded by the Court. I can respond to the volume of paperwork (6 inches) but not in the time the Court has required. My one request for a Continuance was denied.
I am asking for your pro bono assistance in this matter. If you could enter my written appearance to the Court which I will provide to you and assist me in getting continuances, that would preclude my expensive travel from Florida to Pennsylvania and allow me to concentrate on responding to the six lawsuits.
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