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PR 17- 28 Harris v. City of Providence No Violation

The Complainant alleged the City violated the APRA when it improperly withheld records responsive to her APRA request. The Complainant's APRA request sought administrative and court pleadings and all settlement agreements from January 1, 2010 in which a particular person was the attorney of record. The City timely responded and produced a number of documents. In support of the APRA complaint that the City did not produce all responsive documents, the Complainant submitted copies of documents from three (3) cases where the City was a named defendant. Our review of the docket sheets in those three (3) cases, however, revealed that the particular person at the subject of the APRA request was not listed as the attorney of record in any those cases. This Department has previously held that the failure of a public body to produce records that do not exist or that are not responsive to an APRA request does not violate the APRA. See e.g., Harris v. City of Providence, PR 16-37; see also R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-3(a), (h). Accordingly, we found no violation.

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