Apparently charging exorbitant fees for open records is not just a problem for Wyoming County, PA . However, at least North Miami Beach if freely moving away from their illegal fees practices. This past week the North Miami Beach city council voted to eliminate a Building Department policy of charging a $100 flat start up fee for all records requests. Currently, the Florida Sunshine law allows for the charging of only reasonable fees for duplication and the cost of searches in special cases when the search is overly broad or time consuming. While this is a move in the right direction, the illegal fee has been charged by the department for three years, without being challenged by citizens and the media. Hopefully other municipalities in Florida and across the country realize that these records belong to the citizens and remove illegal flat rate fees and begin charging for the actual cost of duplication. Best of luck to all the residents of North Miami Beach in obtaining their refunds, though I doubt they will have any luck.
Editor of WikiFOIA
To read the original article, please see: iStock Analyst, “Records request flat fee no longer will be charged by North Miami Beach: North Miami Beach officials removed a $100 flat fee for public records requests from the city’s building department.”, 7/23/2010