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PR 14-20 Pitochelli v. Town of Johnston – No Violation

Complainant alleged that the Town of Johnston ("Town") violated the Access to Public Records Act ("APRA") when it estimated an unreasonable amount of time searching and retrieving records responsive to his request. Complainant also alleged that the documents received were not responsive. Based on the totality of the circumstances – the one (1) year time period, the fact that the Town expended resources from three (3) departments, and that the search revealed three hundred and seventy-five (375) pages of documents – we concluded that the $116.25 charge was not unreasonable. This Department also concluded that the documents received were responsive to Complainant's request since no evidence was presented to suggest responsive documents had been withheld and, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-3(h), a public body is not required to reorganize, consolidate, or create documents that do not exist. Accordingly, we found that the Town did not violate the APRA.

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