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Hartford spends $300 to appeal PLN's $27.50 FOIA Commission ruling

Hartford Courant, Jan. 1, 2009.
Hartford spends $300 to appeal PLN's $27.50 FOIA Commission ruling - Hartford Courant 2009

City Pays $300 To Save $27.50

By Jeffrey B. Cohen / Hartford Courant

November 23, 2009 4:30 PM

The city has paid $300 to fight a ruling of the state's Freedom of Information Commission that originally cost it $27.50.

Prison Legal News, a Seattle-based organization, sought public records from the city and asked the city to waive the $27.50 fee for the documents, according to state files. The city denied the request for the waiver and the news organization filed a complaint with the commission.

In September, the commission ruled that the city "had no objective, fair, or reasonable basis for denying the complainants' fee waiver" and ordered that the documents in question be turned over for free.

The city then appealed the judgment earlier this month by filing suit in New Britain Superior Court. Court officials say the cost of that filing was $300.

"This gives new meaning to 'penny-wise and pound-foolish,'" Paul Wright, editor of the Prison Legal News, said in a press release. "The City of Hartford is spending far more money, resources and staff time in its attempt to use fees to deny media access to government records. This is a financial defeat for Hartford tax-payers, whose City attorney refused to simply fax documents by claiming his office was not required to do so."

The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The full press release from Prison Legal News is here, in a PDF:

And here's the city's appeal, as provided by Prison Legal News:

[includes corrected link]

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