Q&A: Emailing fee


From the Evansville Courier & Press:.

Q: I’ve requested the superintendent’s contract from LaPorte Schools, which can’t be more than 10 pages, and the district’s policy states that any email request involves a $5 fee. Does such a request qualify as “enhanced access,” and is this a legal policy on their end? 

A: Emailing a document is not what the General Assembly contemplated as “enhanced access.” Enhanced access language was added to the Access to Public Records Act to encourage public agencies to make records available through the Internet. So I would question the statutory authority for such a fee.

The problem for you though is that a public agency isn’t required to email records to requesters. Agencies can require you to come to their offices to pick up copies of documents requested. So the question is do you want to pay the fee for an electronic version or face the possibility of having to send someone to LaPorte County pick up a hard copy of the record?

 Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.