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PR 18-22 Tax Sale Nerd v. City of Cranston No Violation

The Complainant filed an anonymous complaint asking this Office to file a lawsuit for alleged violations of the APRA and seeking injunctive relief. While R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-3(j) provides that a public body shall not require, "as a condition of fulfilling a public records request, that a person or entity provide a reason for the request or provide personally identifiable information about him/herself," we are aware of no authority that would permit this Office to file a lawsuit on behalf of a person without the identity of that person being known to the parties and the court. Indeed, court rules would require the identity to be disclosed. The anonymous nature of this complaint allowed the Complainant to avoid certain issue and hindered the public body's ability to defend against the complaint.

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