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PR 19-04 Farinelli v. City of Providence - Violation

The Complainant alleged that the City of Providence ("City") violated the APRA by providing a prepayment estimate that underestimated the actual time required for search and retrieval and by subsequently providing an amended prepayment estimate that pertained to only a portion of the requested documents. We concluded that the City's initial estimate did not violate the APRA because of the difficulty involved in accurately predicting the time required to search and retrieve documents responsive to the Complainant's request and because providing such estimates is an inexact science. We also noted that the City informed the Complainant that the initial prepayment amount was only an estimate. We concluded that the City did violate the APRA by failing to provide responsive documents or an amended estimate of the prepayment cost to complete the entire request. Although we did not find evidence of a willful and knowing, or reckless, violation, we directed the City to provide the Complainant with the requested documents free of charge. VIOLATION FOUND.

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