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RI Judge upholds $400 fee to access public records

April 15, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Superior Court Judge has sided with the state Board of Elections’ decision to charge a nonprofit good-government group more than $400 for a public records request.

The Providence Journal reports that a judge ruled last week that Watchdog RI did not have legal standing to appeal the board’s denial of a fee waiver because all communication requesting the records came from the nonprofit’s founder, Ken Block, and not the watchdog group itself.

As part of a project on voting in Rhode Island, Block had sought emails between state and local election officials that included directions on how to run elections.

Block says the decision sidesteps the issue of whether government bodies should be charging for records produced in the public interest. Block will discuss possible options with his attorney.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com