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October 21st, 2017

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Seems Like the Season of Email Muddles

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Oct. 15, 2015

Seems Like the Season of Email Muddles

(1) All Sherri Smith wanted was copies of background emails about her son (who has a disability) in the files of the Goodrich, Michigan, school system, but the superintendent informed her in June that the Freedom of Information request would cost her $77,780 (4,500 hours of searching -- taking two years to complete). (Michigan's FOI law was somewhat liberalized on July 1, and Smith said she may refile.)

(2) After a McKinney, Texas, police officer was filmed pointing his gun at unarmed black teenagers at a pool party in June, the online Gawker Media filed a Public Information Act request for the officer's records and any emails about his conduct. The city estimated that request's cost at $79,229 (hiring a programmer, for 2,231 hours' searching -- plus "computer time"). Gawker said it would appeal. [WNEM-TV (Saginaw, Mich.), 7-1-2015] [Gawker.com, 6-29-2015]

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