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PR 15-07 Murphy v. City of Providence – No Violation

The Complainant alleged the City of Providence ("City") violated the APRA when it did not provide her any records responsive to her June 21, 2014 APRA request. There was simply no evidence to demonstrate that the City's search for the requested records was unreasonable or that the City maintained the requested records. We were presented no evidence to establish that the City had responsive documents that it refused to provide to the Complainant. This Department has previously held that the failure of a public body to produce records that do not exist does not violate the APRA. See, e.g., O'Rourke v. Bradford Fire District, PR 13-11; Hazelwood v. Town of West Greenwich, OM 13-09; Tetreault v. Lincoln School Committee and Superintendent of Schools, PR 99-14. See also R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-3(h). We find no violation.

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