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When Requestors Fail to Inspect in a Timely Manner or Pay for Copies

Reference Number: MTAS-3001
Reviewed Date: 11/27/2018

For nearly 60 years, there was language in the act that set out the recourse that a citizen had when he/she felt that a municipality failed to provide access to requested records, but there was no language in the Act that provided municipalities any recourse when requestors failed to inspect in a timely manner or failed to pay for requested copies. However, both of these issues are now addressed by the language in T.C.A. § 10-7-503(a)(7)(A)(vii)(a)-(b). Now, if a requestor makes two (2) requests to inspect within a six (6) month period and fails to inspect the records within 15 days of being notified that they are available to inspect, the municipality is not required to comply with any public records request from the requestor for six (6) months from the date that the second request was made, unless the municipality determines that failure to inspect was for a good cause. Additionally, when a request for copies is made, an estimate is provided to the requestor in writing, the requestor agrees to pay the estimate, which should also be in writing, the copies are produced and the requestor fails to pay for the copies, the municipality is not required to comply with any public records request from the requestor until the requestor pays for copies that were produced.