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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am a resident of Lake Butler, Florida. I have recently emailed

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I am a resident of Lake Butler, Florida. I have recently emailed the city hall in regards XXXXX XXXXX a copy of a recent special meeting agenda. The meeting happened and passed. So I emailed again, this time asking for a copy of the agenda and minutes. I was told to go to city hall and ask for them. I advised that due to my work schedule and city halls hours, I could not. I asked if they would eventually upload to their official city website and I could look there. The office manager said yes they would that evening. Two days later, they had not uploaded so I emailed again asking for when they might upload the agenda and minutes. I was told to cease contacting city hall and direct future inquires to the city attorney. My question, Can city hall refuse to provide public records to a citizen and/or refuse to further allow me to contact them with inquiries?

Thank you for your question.

City Hall can refuse to release records under very limited conditions. Since these are a copy of a special meeting agenda, it is unlikely that they are authorized under the Florida Public Records Act to withhold the records. However, they can direct you to send the request to the City Attorney for handling. There may be an objection to the release of the document under the Act which the City wishes to assert. Nevertheless, you should cooperate and simply send your request to the City Attorney.

The City is not required to post the records on the web and can require that you come to the City Hall to make a copy of the records yourself. You can request that they make a copy of the records and send them to you with you paying the copying costs (usually 10 cents a page, but can be more).

Submit your request to the City Attorney. If they do not cooperate at all, then you can actually sue them under the Act, win attorneys fees and a $500 penalty, plus the release of the records.

You can read the Act at:

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Best Regards,
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