ACLU Files Class Action Privacy Rights Complaint in Vista
San Diego – In a move to protect privacy rights, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties today filed a class action complaint asking a judge to stop the City of Vista from releasing the names, addresses and phone numbers of private individuals who have registered with the city to hire day laborers for odd jobs around their homes.
The suit is brought on behalf of four anonymous individuals, whose personal information was sought by an anti-illegal immigration activist from the Vista Citizens Brigade in a public records request. The ACLU seeks a class action injunction on behalf of all private, non-commercial registrants to prevent invasion of their privacy.
“The ACLU recognizes the importance of public disclosure of government documents,” said David Blair-Loy, Legal Director. “But public disclosure has to be balanced against the right to privacy. In this particular case, we believe the right to privacy protects the personal information of private individuals, as opposed to businesses that by definition hold themselves out to the public.”
According to the lawsuit, the California Public Records Act does not require the city of Vista to disclose the names, addresses and/or telephone numbers of the registrants, in light of the privacy rights at stake.
Update, July 20, 2007
On July 9, 2007, a judge heard arguments on a temporary restraining order to block public disclosure, and granted the TRO. The Vista Citizens Brigade member who originally requested the list of employers intervened in the case, as did several newspapers and publishers, and the original hearing date on making the injunction permanent that was scheduled for July 26th has been moved to August 20, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 28 of the Vista branch of the San Diego Superior Court.