Case name: Craig Merrill v. Beverly Boswell
On January 25, 2018, the ACLU of North Carolina filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Kitty Hawk resident seeking the release of public records from North Carolina Representative Beverly Boswell.
Starting in April 2017, Kitty Hawk resident Craig Merrill repeatedly asked Rep. Boswell to release public records of phone and email correspondence between her office and the residents and businesses she represents in North Carolina House District 6, which includes parts of Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, and Washington counties. After more than nine months, Rep. Boswell’s office still had not released the communications, as required under the North Carolina Public Records Law, prompting the lawsuit filed by the ACLU of North Carolina on behalf of Kitty Hawk resident Craig Merrill.
In May 2018, Rep. Boswell responded to the lawsuit by providing documents that concealed the identity of everyone her office communicated with on matters of public interest. The ACLU then filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to order Rep. Boswell to preserve and release the full records requested by Merrill as there was no legal justification for Rep. Boswell to conceal who she and her office were corresponding with on matters related to her work as a public official.
In June 2018, Rep. Boswell released the full, un-redacted public records sought by the lawsuit and agreed to a settlement in the case.