SHERIFFS AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE TO CHARGE MORE FOR OPEN RECORDS

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January 30, 2018


Request: Did the Morton County Sheriff’s Office charge excessive fees in responding to an open record request?

Conclusion: The Morton County Sheriff’s office received a request for certain arrest, detention, and confinement records. The Sheriff’s office response included 17 pages, for which a fee of $30 was assessed. The open records laws outline what a public entity may charge for responding to a request for records, capped at 25 cents per page. These general laws, however, do not apply to copies of public records for which a different fee is specifically provided by law. In N.D.C.C. Section 11-15-07, a sheriff’s department is authorized to charge $2 per paper copy of a record in response to an open records request. Therefore, the Morton County Sheriff’s Office did not charge excessive fees for the records.

Opinion 2018-O-01

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