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PR 15-05 Durand v. Warwick Board of Canvassers – No Violation

The complainant alleged the Warwick Board of Canvassers ("Board") violated the APRA when he made an oral request for a site map and the Board required him to complete a form. The APRA provides that "[e]ach public body shall establish written procedures regarding access to public records but shall not require written requests * * * for other documents prepared for or readily available to the public." See R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-3(d). The fact that the Board required that the request be in writing did not violate the APRA since no evidence had been presented that the site map was "prepared for or readily available to the public." If the Board had required the complainant to fill out its APRA form to the exclusion of other forms of writing, or if the complainant had refused to complete the APRA form, yet put the request in writing such that it was "otherwise readily identifiable as a request for public records," we may very well have a different view of this matter. Because no evidence has been submitted to substantiate this version of events, we found no violation.

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