The ACLU filed an Open Records lawsuit against a Rhode Island town for requiring searchers to fill out a form with personal identifiers before getting access. The plaintiff is a realtor who attempted to access the tax assessment database.
The lawsuit states that the records Butterfield sought are clearly public records, and that the open records law specifically provides that public bodies “shall not require written requests for “documents prepared for or readily available to the public.” That provision was enacted in order to promote easy access to public records and to protect requesters confidentiality when identifying information was not necessary.
Can you spell hysteria???
Update: Apparently, within hours of the lawsuit filing the county withdrew the requirement that requesters submit personal information. Threat. It’s a good thing.