On November 29, 2010, using the alias “Justin Fine" (as part of CalAware's Education Audit) Petitioner Richard P. McKee (“McKee”) requested copies of records on behalf of Petitioner Californians Aware (“CalAware”) from Respondent Contra Costa Community College District (“District” or “Respondent”). This request was one of 36 made to public community college districts throughout the State to test compliance with the CPRA.
In supplying the copies of the records requested, Respondent charged McKee and CalAware (collectively “Petitioners”) a fee of $0.25 per page for the 80 pages the District produced and $40 per hour for 1.5 hours of staff time Respondent claimed to have been spent “to compile requested material.” Therefore, the total amount charged by the District for the copies requested was $80 for 80 pages of records. McKee complained of this excessive fee, asking the District to reduce its fee for the copies he had requested. The District refused, citing its adopted policy.
Petitioner asked the Court to determine whether Respondent’s fees for copies of public records exceed the “direct costs of duplication, or a statutory fee if applicable” set by Section 6253(b) of the CPRA, thereby obstructing the public’s constitutional right of access to information.
CalAware settled this case out of court.