Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Jersey court says fees for electronic records are reasonable

A New Jersey court has ruled that municipalities do not have to provide public records to requesters in a computer-readable format if they are not already stored in such a format. The Courier News, a Gannett newspaper in New Jersey, lost its open records case this week against the Borough of Raritan for free access to borough payroll records from 2008 and 2009 in a searchable digital database format, reported.

The newspaper wanted the records in spreadsheet format in order to compare them with other municipalities, but the borough wanted to charge a $1,100 fee.
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