Sunday, March 16, 2008

Text messages are public records? YES

Link
Courts, lawyers and states are increasingly treating these typed text messages as public documents subject to the same disclosure laws — including the federal Freedom of Information Act — that apply to e-mails and paper records.

"I don't care if it's delivered by carrier pigeon, it's a record," said Charles Davis, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition at the University of Missouri. "If you're using public time or your public office, you're creating public records every time you hit send."

A Texas judge agreed in December, ordering the city of Dallas to turn over e-mails written by some city officials as well as messages sent on handheld devices such as cellphones.