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Court: Sealed records at campus library are public

July 6, 2019

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A court decision could force the University of Michigan to open the records of a doctor who is considered by critics to be an influential voice in anti-immigration matters.

Dr. John Tanton of Petoskey donated 25 boxes of papers to the university, but 11 boxes were to remain closed until 2035. The Michigan appeals court says the closed records are public documents under the Freedom of Information Act because they’re being held by a campus library as an “official function,” a key phrase in state law.

The appeals court on June 20 overturned a decision by the Michigan Court of Claims. The university says it’s considering its options. It could ask the state Supreme Court to take the case.

The lawsuit was filed by Hassan Ahmad, an attorney in McLean, Virginia.

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