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PR 17-41 Ritchotte v. Town of Coventry - No Violation

Complainant alleged that the Town violated the APRA when it denied his request for transcripts and/or a recording of a hearing that occurred at the Town Municipal Court. We found that no transcripts existed at the time of the Complainant's request and, accordingly, that the failure of the Town to produce documents that do not exist does not violate the APRA. See R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-3(h). We also found that the transcripts and recordings were exempt under R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-2(4)(T), which exempts non-administrative judicial records. Because it was undisputed that the Town Municipal Court is a judicial body and that both transcripts and recordings of an official court proceeding are non-administrative records, we found that the Town did not violate the APRA by denying access to the requested records. As such, we found no violations.

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