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Nevada County Superior Court Orders County to Disclose Illegally Withheld Public Records.

Written By Daniel Plainview 

On June 21, 2023, after 10 months of litigation, the Honorable S. Robert Tice-Raskin ordered the Nevada County Election office to release to the public a tranche of public records related to the November 2020 General Election, which Nevada County had been refusing to disclose for nearly two years despite analogous records from San Francisco’s election office being provided to the general public and identical records being provided by Stanislaus County. 

The Court ordered that the County has until July 21, 2023, to release the public records related to the 2020 General Election requested by Young. Young will likely seek attorney fees from the County for wrongfully withholding the public records. While Nevada County will likely compensate Young’s attorneys for their time in obtaining the order from the Nevada County Superior Court, Young will never be compensated for the massive amount of time and energy she expended order to gain access to public records, ultimately benefitting all Nevada County residents, while other counties already freely provide such access to their public. 

On October 3rd, however, the Judge also ruled that the county must pay $85,000 in legal fees and costs to Young.  This is a bittersweet victory:  on one hand, Young and her fellow Californians are now able to get the transparency guaranteed to them by California and US law.  But on the other hand, it cost her the potential of losing her legal fees and costs if unsuccessful, while also crippling the Nevada County taxpayer who will foot the bill not only for the county’s legal defense, but now the plaintiff’s costs as well.

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