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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Missouri Attorney Sues City Over Open Records Request

Columbia attorney Stephen Wyse has sued the city of Columbia and the Columbia Police Department's custodian of records over an open records request. 

Wyse had requested surveillance video from the Columbia Police Department showing the police lobby and holding area to determine whether the police had inappropriately denied him access to an arrested woman who asked for a lawyer.  

In response to his Sunshine Law request for the video, the police department's custodian of records estimated the cost to be $2,739.73 and said it would take three weeks to organize more than 80 hours of digital footage. 

Wyse responded, saying the city violated the Sunshine Law by inappropriately calculating the cost and for not responding to the request timely.  He received a new estimate for $114.31, covering the cost of burning the footage to DVDs.  After paying the $114.31, Wyse again was told that his request would be honored in three weeks and after he paid the original cost estimate of $2,739.73.  

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