- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Norfolk have reached a settlement over the city’s refusal to treat text messages as public records.

Under an agreement announced Friday, the city has agreed that text messages sent and received in the course of public business will be stored and made available upon request as a public record.

The lawsuit was filed last January after PETA requested text messages to and from Norfolk City Council members.

Norfolk told PETA it did not save those messages. The American Civil Liberties Union represented PETA, saying failure to save the messages violated the freedom of information act.

The settlement was signed by Norfolk Circuit Court Judge Joh Doyle. The settlement requires Norfolk to have a policy treating text messages as public records.

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