We sued a state agency. Will it release the records?

Seeing this on a court calendar is still a little surreal to me:

Rittiman vs. CPUC, now cleared to proceed by the California Supreme Court, is scheduled for oral argument at 9:00am PT on Tuesday, May 3 in the 1st District Court of Appeal. You can watch oral argument live here.

NEW: The San Francisco Public Press highlighted ABC10's case in an extensive new report out today:

Applying century-old laws meant to fight corruption, the commission has effectively limited court enforcement of the state’s public records act. But a state appeals court on May 3 is hearing a lawsuit challenging that practice and could bring more transparency to the commission. 

For the record, I didn't ask to be the named plaintiff on the case ABC10 filed against the government agency that regulates power monopolies in California.

Our attorney Steve Zansberg filed it that way for a reason: You don't have to be a professional news organization to obtain public records under California's transparency laws. It's a right available to any person.

California voters even went so far as to spell that out in the state constitution: "the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny."

The California Public Records Act gives government agencies 24 days to determine whether they will hand over public records. If the records are denied, the person requesting the records is supposed to be able to sue in an attempt to force the records to come out, unless the court finds that one of the CPRA's several exemptions outweighs the public interest in the records.

It's been 528 days since ABC10 requested the records at issue in this case: communications between four key staffers in Gov. Gavin Newsom's office and the since-resigned president of the California Public Utilities Commission, Marybel Batjer.

The texts and emails sought by ABC10 in the lawsuit come from a time when the commission took part in an intricate plan to have the state government rescue PG&E from the consequences of its own crimes.

If you haven't yet, take 45 minutes to watch our series on how the Newsom administration and CPUC did it:

DROP ME AN EMAIL: brittiman@abc10.com