The New Hampshire Union Leader:
Tuftonboro town selectmen are asking a judge if they can charge a fee to process a Right-to-Know request, after a two residents demanded access to town emails, one seeking access to an estimated 11,000 emails.
In a complaint filed last week in Carroll County Superior Court, selectmen said the emails have to be reviewed to make sure they contain no confidential information — telephone numbers, private email addresses, even unseen metadata — that they must withhold under the state Right-to-Know law.
A hearing date has been set for Dec. 21.
Selectmen estimated it could cost between $6,400 and $12,800 to comply with the larger request, made by Melvin Village resident Robert McWhirter. They want to charge a 25-cent fee for each page subject to review.
For the past several years, state and local officials have complained about the cost to comply with records requests. State law allows local and state government to charge fees to cover only the actual cost of copying a record, not the cost of retrieving it or blacking out confidential information.
Looks like Richard Sager, the selectmen’s attorney, didn’t need to ask the Court to clarify the law. All he needed to do was ask the Union Leader!