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Statutes Text

Article - General Provisions


    (a)    (1)    In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

        (2)    “Indigent” means an individual’s family household income is less than 50% of the median family income for the State as reported in the Federal Register.

        (3)    “Reasonable fee” means a fee bearing a reasonable relationship to the recovery of actual costs incurred by a governmental unit.

    (b)    (1)    Subject to the limitations in this section, the official custodian may charge an applicant a reasonable fee for:

            (i)    the search for, preparation of, and reproduction of a public record prepared, on request of the applicant, in a customized format; and

            (ii)    the actual costs of the search for, preparation of, and reproduction of a public record in standard format, including media and mechanical processing costs.

        (2)    The staff and attorney review costs included in the calculation of actual costs incurred under this section shall be prorated for each individual’s salary and actual time attributable to the search for and preparation of a public record under this section.

    (c)    The official custodian may not charge a fee for the first 2 hours that are needed to search for a public record and prepare it for inspection.

    (d)    (1)    If another law sets a fee for a copy, an electronic copy, a printout, or a photograph of a public record, that law applies.

        (2)    The official custodian may charge for the cost of providing facilities for the reproduction of the public record if the custodian did not have the facilities.

    (e)    The official custodian may waive a fee under this section if:

        (1)    the applicant asks for a waiver; and

        (2)    (i)    the applicant is indigent and files an affidavit of indigency; or

            (ii)    after consideration of the ability of the applicant to pay the fee and other relevant factors, the official custodian determines that the waiver would be in the public interest.

    (f)    If the custodian of a public record for a local school system charges an applicant a fee under subsection (b) of this section, the custodian shall provide written notice to the applicant that the applicant may file a complaint with the Board to contest the fee.

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