Public Records Law & Litigation

The government has an obligation to perform its work in view of the public. With this in mind, both the federal and state legislatures have put forth laws that require certain records and meetings to be open to the public.

At SMVT, we believe the government’s obligation of openness is vital to our society.

Our attorneys can assist you in obtaining records from State governmental entities. Why would you need a law firm for this? Some government officials resist public records requests. Others hide behind narrow exceptions in the law when they should not. Other times, those requesting the records prefer to remain anonymous, using our name in place of theirs.

Where government officials have refused to disclose the records they are legally required to provide, our attorneys have filed lawsuits and pursued the information in court. In some cases, attorney fees are awarded when a public entity improperly conceals its records.

In 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly stuck new provisions in the middle of North Carolina’s Public Records Law at N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1.4A, custodial law enforcement recordings (police dash cam and body worn camera recordings) are not public records under North Carolina law. SMVT’s attorneys regularly use the statutory process for obtaining release of these types of recordings made by or on behalf of law enforcement for clients – including coalitions of clients – throughout the state.

No matter the situation, SMVT lawyers can tell you if a record should be public. And, if it should, we will help you find and obtain it.

We Can Help


Mike Tadych


Hugh Stevens
Of Counsel

Karen Rabenau

Karen Rabenau
Of Counsel


Kathleen O'Malley