Private Texts, Public Records: Nevada Public Records Act and Personal Cellphones Used for Public Service

By Daniel B. Heidtke

The Nevada Public Records Act (NPRA), NRS § § 239.001 et seq., requires that “public books and public records” must be open at all times during office hours to inspection by any person.  But, what is a “public record” and what makes a record, “public”?  On March 29, 2018, the Nevada Supreme Court addressed that issue and more by adding to its growing list of case law on the NPRA in Comstock Residents Association, et al. v. Lyons County Board of Commissioners, Case No. 70738, 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 19 (2018) (“Lyons County Board”).  In Lyons County Board, the Court built upon its prior opinion in Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. v. Blackjack Bonding, Inc., 131 Nev. 80 (2015) and further explained that an otherwise “public record” does not become “private” simply because it is maintained in or upon private property.  Thus, the Lyons County commissioners’ private cellphones and email accounts constituted public records subject to disclosure so long as the records maintained on otherwise private devices and accounts concerned “the provision of public service.”  Continue reading “Private Texts, Public Records: Nevada Public Records Act and Personal Cellphones Used for Public Service”