ESPN has filed a lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame, alleging that the university is violating public records law by refusing to release documents from its campus police force. The lawsuit follows two advisory opinions issued by Luke Britt, Indiana's public access counselor, that Notre Dame’s police force is subject to the state’s Access to Public Records Act.
Three previous access counselors had said that the police force answers solely to the private university, and therefore doesn’t qualify as a public agency subject to open records law, according the South Bend Tribune. (The local paper's requests for campus police records also have been declined.)
But Britt writes that while Notre Dame is a private university with the power to establish its own police force, it is Indiana law that gives the police force the power to enforce the law. The university has said that it's confident it is following the law, and that its actions are consistent with the interpretation of the law over the past several years.
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