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Thread: Anyone with Oregon Open Records experience?

  1. #1
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Anyone with Oregon Open Records experience?

    I want to do an Open Records request for 911 calls, dispatch recordings, and police calls for a one hour period in Portland on a specific day. Looking at Portland PD's web site it appears that they want to charge "$50 per hour, minimum" JUST for copies of 911 calls.

    My understanding is that they can ONLY recover their costs in compiling, copying, mailing, etc.

    I'm wondering who may have done something similar in Portland (or anywhere in Oregon). Are they trying to get $50 for each hour of recordings (so my one hour timeframe would be $50 just for the 911 recordings) or $50 per hour of their time?

    Also, since the law says they can only recover their costs, can they (or do they normally) get away with charging a $50 minimum even if their costs aren't that high?

    This seems a "little" high and more like a means by which to disencentivize the public from obtaining public records.
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

  2. #2
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    I believe that would be $50 per hour their time with a one hour minimum. I don't feel $50 per hour is unreasonable. As much as most people think it is as easy as pushing a button it isn't. Financial institution charge close to that for research and they aren't sending recordings. If you know the specific time and location I would guess you are into an hour maybe two for the research and processing.

  3. #3
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Ahh but THE LAW says that they can ONLY recover their ACTUAL costs, that they should strive to use lesser paid employees to obtain the records, and that they must send an estimate if the charges will exceed $25.

    That's why I'm asking. They, the people supposedly upholding THE LAW, want to charge as a minimum more than the law allows doesn't make sense.

    Since posting I've also found a records request form of theirs (I'm not planning to us it but rather the Open Records LAW) that requires a non refundable payment of $10 submitted before they'll even look at a request. That doesn't seem in line with the law either.

    I'm not trying to be a cheapskate but I also don't want them to get away with something that makes it difficult (on purpose I'm sure) for many people to obtain PUBLIC records.
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

  4. #4
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    ORS 192.440
    (4) (a) The public body may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the public body for the public bodys actual cost of making public records available, including costs for summarizing, compiling or tailoring the public records, either in organization or media, to meet the persons request.
    (b) The public body may include in a fee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection the cost of time spent by an attorney for the public body in reviewing the public records, redacting material from the public records or segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records. The public body may not include in a fee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection the cost of time spent by an attorney for the public body in determining the application of the provisions of ORS 192.410 (Definitions for ORS 192.410 to 192.505) to 192.505 (Exempt and nonexempt public record to be separated).

    I guess it's how you read it. May establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the public body...

    I can see when adding in time, technology, attorneys, blah blah blah $50 could be reasonably calculated.

  5. #5
    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sethrotull View Post
    ORS 192.440
    (4) (a) The public body may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the public body for the public bodys actual cost of making public records available, including costs for summarizing, compiling or tailoring the public records, either in organization or media, to meet the persons request.
    (b) The public body may include in a fee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection the cost of time spent by an attorney for the public body in reviewing the public records, redacting material from the public records or segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records. The public body may not include in a fee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection the cost of time spent by an attorney for the public body in determining the application of the provisions of ORS 192.410 (Definitions for ORS 192.410 to 192.505) to 192.505 (Exempt and nonexempt public record to be separated).

    I guess it's how you read it. May establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the public body...

    I can see when adding in time, technology, attorneys, blah blah blah $50 could be reasonably calculated.
    I can see your point but when the agency must provide an estimate for records if the cost is over $25, mandating a "$50 per hour, minimum" seems more like they are trying to chill the right. Are they:

    Making the statement to imply that it's far more expensive than it is in order to keep people from requesting the records?

    Charging more than reasonable? I'm sure their records are digital so how long does it take for a $15/hour (cost about $30/hour) employee (remember the law states they are to use lower paid employees to keep the costs down) to copy the files onto a disk?


    Of course had I waited for the cops and they cited me, I'd be able to subpoena the records for free.....hmmmmm NAH not worth that hassle. LOL
    "The Second Amendment speaks nothing to an unfettered Right". (Post # 100)
    "Restrictions are not infringements. Bans are infringements.--if it reaches beyond Reasonable bans". (Post # 103)
    Beretta92FSLady
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ons-Bill/page5

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in any of my posts should be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult a reputable attorney, not an internet forum.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sethrotull View Post
    ORS 192.440
    (4) (a) The public body may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the public body for the public bodys actual cost of making public records available, including costs for summarizing, compiling or tailoring the public records, either in organization or media, to meet the persons request.
    (b) The public body may include in a fee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection the cost of time spent by an attorney for the public body in reviewing the public records, redacting material from the public records or segregating the public records into exempt and nonexempt records. The public body may not include in a fee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection the cost of time spent by an attorney for the public body in determining the application of the provisions of ORS 192.410 (Definitions for ORS 192.410 to 192.505) to 192.505 (Exempt and nonexempt public record to be separated).

    I guess it's how you read it. May establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse the public body...

    I can see when adding in time, technology, attorneys, blah blah blah $50 could be reasonably calculated.
    OMG ! That's horrible ! Horrible ! (b) is terrible ! How about just to view/hear it? Now you are not getting copies.

    That's why I put in "looking to inspect records at no cost" with my records requests. To charge one for examining the record for an exemption when the law does not require an exemption, even if available, to be used.

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