A Tennessee judge will decide whether the state Department of Children's Services must release the case files of children who have died or nearly died after being in contact with the agency. The Tennessean requested the records in September, citing the state's Open Records law. The department gave the paper only a spreadsheet with minimal information. The newspaper sued to force the release of the files. The Associated Press and other media sources are joining the suit that will be heard today.
The Tennessean’s attorneys argue that without the records the public cannot determine whether DCS is adequately protecting the children. Attorneys for the state argue that the media organizations are misinterpreting the law and that privacy concerns are paramount.