McCambridge v. City of Little Rock
Arkansas Supreme Court
766 S.W.2d 909 (1989)
Mercedes McCambridge (plaintiff) was the mother of John Markle. Markle was the offender in a highly publicized murder-suicide in Little Rock, Arkansas. McCambridge was an award-winning actress and public figure. During the police’s investigation of the murder-suicide, they discovered a number of documents, including two handwritten letters from Markle to his attorney admitting to the crime, Markle’s diary, a handwritten letter from Markle to McCambridge expressing his anger with her, and some miscellaneous notes. McCambridge filed suit to restrain the City of Little Rock (defendant) from releasing the letters, notes, and photographs of the crime scene. Specifically, McCambridge asserted that the release of the documents would violate her constitutional right to privacy because the information was personal in nature and potentially embarrassing and harmful if disclosed. The trial court held that all items must be disclosed under Arkansas’s open-records law. McCambridge filed an appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dudley, J.)
Concurrence (Hickman, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Purtle, J.)
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