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April 11, 2019

Request: Did the City of Dickinson violate the law by failing to respond to a request for records within a reasonable time?

Conclusion: The City of Dickinson received a request on September 20, 2018, for a police officer’s personnel file. The file was voluminous and contained paper and digital records, all of which required review for redaction. However, the city did no real work on the request until after the requester followed up eight days later, and provided the redacted records in batches between October 9 and October 18, 2018. While a delay may be appropriate for a number of reasons, including the volume and type of records requested, the city violated the law because it took no real action for eight days after the request was received and also failed to inform the requester why records were not being provided.

Opinion 2019-O-02

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