Legal Hotline

LEGAL HOTLINE: (717) 703-3080

One of the PNA’s most popular services to our members is the free Legal PNA Legal HotlineHotline. PNA members may call the hotline with any legal questions.

PNA attorneys routinely provide members with advice on HIPAA, open records, the state Sunshine Act, use of independent contractors, libel, telemarketing, copyrights, the Pennsylvania Shield Law and legal advertising. Many reporters from PNA member newspapers rely on PNA’s attorneys for quotes on stories involving legal issues.

Members may also contact PNA’s Media Law Counsel directly via email.

Legal Hotline: Remote Notarization

Q:  We have a notary on staff to notarize proofs of publication accompanying legal notice ads. Our staff is working remotely, making it difficult for affidavit witnesses and the notary to be…

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Legal Hotline: RTKL During COVID-19 Crisis

Q:  What is the status of the Right to Know Law under the current disaster declaration?  Has the Office of Open Records issued any guidance? A: The Right to Know Law is…

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Legal Hotline: Remote Public Meetings

Q:  Has the Sunshine Act or other law been amended to address the need for social distance during the COVID-19 disaster declaration? A:  The Sunshine Act has not been amended and remains…

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Legal Hotline: Governor’s Closure Order

Q: What does the governor’s order requiring “non-life sustaining” businesses to close mean for my news organization?  Do we have to close? What if we are located in one of the counties…

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Legal Hotline: Committee Meetings

Q: A borough council facing budget shortfalls created a committee to offer advice and investigate potential funding streams. Our reporter asked when the first committee meeting will take place, but the borough…

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Legal Hotline: Vacancy in Elected Office

Q:  Are local agencies like boroughs and school boards allowed to hold a personnel executive session to discuss candidates for a vacancy in elected office?  Does the RTKL allow agencies to deny…

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Legal Hotline: Executive Session Confidentiality Agreement

Q:  A city council has asked council members to sign a confidentiality agreement forbidding council members from talking about executive session discussions and imposing a fine if they do.  Is there anything in…

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Legal Hotline: 2020 Federal Election Political Ads

Q:    An advertiser wants to place a political ad for the upcoming presidential election, but the advertiser does not want to include any disclaimer. Do political ads have to contain a disclaimer…

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Legal Hotline: 911 Recordings and Transcripts

Q:  Are 911 call recordings and transcripts public records under the Right to Know Law? A:  The Right to Know Law allows agencies to deny access to 911 audio recordings and transcripts,…

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Legal Hotline: Act 22 and Law Enforcement Recordings

Q:  Are police dash and body camera videos public records under the Right to Know Law? A:  No, the records are not subject to public access under the Right to Know Law. …

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