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Other Order Deft Isu Daily's Motion for Summary Jdgmt Denied- Defts Motion for Summary Jdgmt Filed After Hrg Set 10-28-11 at 10 Am

Other Order Deft Isu Daily's Motion for Summary Jdgmt Denied- Defts Motion for Summary Jdgmt Filed After Hrg Set 10-28-11 at 10 Am

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Published by Jason Ryan Arment

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Published by: Jason Ryan Arment on Oct 21, 2011
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IN THE IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR STORY COUNTY
CHAD BREWBAKER,Case No. CVCV046802Plaintiff,v.ISU DAILY PUBLICATIONS BOARDand CITY OF AMES,Defendants.
RULING ON DEFENDANTISU DAILY PUBLICATIONSBOARD’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
On September 27, 2011, the Court held a hearing regarding the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Defendant, ISU Daily Publications Board. The Plaintiff, Mr.Chad Brewbaker, appeared
 pro se
. Attorney Sharon Malheiro appeared on behalf of the movingDefendant, ISU Daily Publications Board (hereinafter, the “Publications Board” or “ISU Daily”).Attorney Doug Marek appeared on behalf of the non-moving Defendant, the City of Ames,which is not involved with this specific procedural dispute. The Court must now rule on the pending motion.
FACTS
The parties’ dispute started in early 2011. Mr. Jason Arment, the Opinion Editor for the ISU Daily, was covering a story regarding the Ames City Counsel hiring a consultingfirm, Lane4, to draft a proposal for new construction in Campustown (an Ames neighborhood just south of Iowa State University). (Pet. pg.1).On February 22, 2011, the Plaintiff sent a letter to the Ames City Clerk requestingcopies of correspondence between the City of Ames, ISU Daily Publications Board, and ISUregarding the ISU Daily’s coverage of the Campustown redevelopment. (Pet. Ex. 12). The City
ELECTRONICALLY FILED
2011 Oct 19 AM 10:14CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT - STORY
 
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of Ames replied that no responsive documents existed. (Pet. Ex. 14). On March 4, 2011, thePlaintiff again sent a letter to the Ames City Clerk making the same request. (Pet. Ex. 13). TheCity of Ames again replied that no responsive documents existed. (Pet. Ex. 15).On March 25, 2011, the Plaintiff sent a letter to the Publications Board requestingcopies of all e-mail correspondence from January 1, 2011, through February 15, 2011, betweenISU Daily Staff, the City of Ames and the ISU Foundation. (Pet. Ex. 17). The Plaintiff receivedno response from the Publications Board concerning this request. (Pet. p.1).On May 4, 2011, the Plaintiff filed his Petition against the ISU Daily PublicationsBoard and the City of Ames, seeking their compliance with the Plaintiff’s open records request pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 22. On May 20, 2011, the Defendants filed a combined Motionto Dismiss, which the Court, the Honorable Judge Steve Oeth, denied on June 28, 2011. ThePublications Board moved for summary judgment on August 25, 2011. It asserts that it is not a“government body” subject to Chapter 22. Plaintiff filed his Resistance on September 23, 2011.This is the issue currently before the Court.The ISU Daily Publications Board is a private, non-profit corporation. TheInternal Revenue Service recognizes the Publications Board has having tax-exempt statute under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Publications Board’s Articles of Incorporation state that its purposes are to “publish and sell the Iowa State University studentnewspaper” and to promote the “educational welfare of and providing business and editorialexperience for who students who participate in the enterprise.” (Def.’s Mot. for SJ, App. 10).The ISU Daily Publications Board is comprised of eleven ISU students, two faculty membersand one professional (or faculty member) involved in a non-competing business.
 
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The Publications Board contracts with the Government of the Student Body(GSB), which is funded by student activity fees. In 2010, the Publications Board received 7.38%($107,464) of its total revenue ($1,456,140) from the GSB. In 2011, the Publications Boardreceived 7.44% ($107,561) of its total revenue ($1,446,027) from the GSB. The PublicationsBoard generates its other revenue from subscription sales, advertising and other miscellaneoussources.The Publications Board occupies space in Hamilton Hall on Iowa StateUniversity’s campus. It does not pay rent to ISU for the use of the space. It is responsible for upkeep and remodeling costs. It is disputed whether the maintenance costs are paid by theUniversity or the Publications Board. Plaintiff presents billing records showing that certainmaintenance fees were charged to the University and not the Publications Board, after aPublications Board member complained about air being too cold at Hamilton Hall. (Plf.’s Resis.Exs. 8, 9).According to various exhibits, the Publications Board pays for its own telephone,IT service and postage. (Def.’s Reply to Plf.’s Resis. Ex. 3-26). However, these same exhibitsalso show payments to ISU for health, dental and life insurance plans, as well as flex plans.Certain Publications Board members have e-mail addresses with an Iowa StateUniversity name (“@iastate.edu”), as well as ISU Daily e-mail accounts (“@iowastatedaily.com”).Plaintiff offers an exhibit consisting of the Iowa State Daily’s contact information, in which theEditorial Adviser and General Manger provide “iastate.edu” e-mail addresses as their contactaddresses. (Plf.’s Sur-Reply Ex. A). There is a factual dispute whether the Board members usetheir Iowa State e-mail addresses to conduct ISU Daily business. The e-mail contact for submitting classifieds is listed as “class1@iastate.edu.”

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