A client contacted the Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) in November 2013 to complain about his treatment on a Metro Transit bus earlier that month. Staff attorney Justin Page requested Metro Transit provide a copy of the bus video, so he could view the incident. Metro Transit refused to provide a copy of the video claiming the video was “private personnel data” under the Minnesota Governmental Data Practices Act (MGDPA).
MDLC filed suit arguing that the video is both public data, and that their client is the subject of the data. The district court agreed with this argument, and ruled that the video is public, and that the client is entitled to the video because he is the subject of it. The Met Council appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court decision that the video is public data.
The Met Council again appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the district court decision on the basis that the client is the subject of the data under the MGDPA. This ruling will have a wide impact. Whenever a governmental agency has information that pertains to your client, your client is entitled to the information as a subject of the data under the MGDPA.