high fees for public records

REQUESTER OVERCHARGED FOR COPIES IS ENTITLED TO LAWYERS’ FEES UNDER OPRA

The N.J. Law Journal reports:

The plaintiff who prompted a seminal ruling that reduced the cost of government records to a nickel per page is a prevailing party entitled to legal fees under the Open Public Records Act, a state appeals court held on Monday. The judges, in Smith v. Hudson County Register , A-4113-09, rejected the county’s argument that Dean Smith was not eligible for fees because he was merely overcharged for copies of records rather than denied access to them. The court found Smith was a prevailing party by having convinced an appeals panel last year that OPRA does not allow the government to charge more than the actual cost for copying public records, roughly five cents per page, and that public entities could not justify imposing a charge of up to 75 cents per page under a default schedule contained in the law. That 2010 decision resulted in an amendment to OPRA, enacted Sept. 10, that set the price of copies at five cents.

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About Lawrence "Larry" Berezin

I retired from the private practice of law after a 35-year legal career and fight parking tickets for people like you and me. I love sharing valuable information, tips and tricks to help drivers beat NYC parking tickets.

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