Officials told again not to charge people who copy documents with their own equipment

As detailed in an article published by the Union Leader,  lawyers for the city of Manchester told city officials they cannot charge a fee when people use their own equipment to copy or photograph public records.

According to the Right-to-Know Law RSA 91-A:4    “Every citizen during the regular or business hours of all public bodies or agencies, and on the regular business premises of such public bodies or agencies, has the right to inspect all governmental records in the possession, custody, or control of such public bodies or agencies, including minutes of meetings of the public bodies, and to copy and make memoranda or abstracts of the records or minutes so inspected…”

Furthermore, the law only allows for copy fees “If a computer, photocopying machine, or other device maintained for use by a public body or agency is used by the public body or agency to copy the governmental record requested, the person requesting the copy may be charged the actual cost of providing the copy, which cost may be collected by the public body or agency.”

In summary, per the Right-to-Know Law the public may inspect and make copies using their own equipment (i.e. a cell phone) without charge.

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