The city of Sparks has asked a district court judge to stay his order to release the names of medical marijuana business license holders to give the city time to appeal the ruling to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Last month, District Court Judge Scott Freeman ruled in favor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, which sued Sparks under the Nevada Public Records law to release the names of the business licenses for reporting purposes. The newspaper twice requested the public documents and were given copies of the licenses with the names of the licenses holders redacted.
In the city’s motion for a stay, Sparks lawyers renewed their argument that a law granting marijuana establishment owners confidentiality in state-level documents applies to city licenses as well. The city also argued the newspaper did not follow proper legal procedure for challenging a state regulation granting the confidentiality by not naming the state of Nevada in its lawsuit.
“Respectfully, the Sparks City Attorney’s office believes the judge’s decision was flawed,” spokesman Adam Mayberry said. “We believe the decision has further ramifications than just the reported circumstances, thus have appealed the decision.”
In his ruling, Freeman found that no state law compels the city to redact the name of the license holders from city documents. He ordered the unredacted documents be released.
Sparks argued it would render its appeal moot and would cause irreparable harm to the license holders, whose “identities once disclosed are forever public.”