A Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge ruled this week in favor of attorney and activist Alan Kessler in his lawsuit against the City of Portland. Kessler sued the city in September for over-charging him for a public records request.
During the November trial, officials from city bureaus testified that highly-skilled, highly-paid employees are often used to conduct simple document searches for public records requests.
The Court ruled Monday that the City's method for calculating fees for a "routine email and document search" is not reasonable. The judge also ruled that the city is enjoined from charging hefty fees for routine email and document searches.
The city attorney's office said it's still digesting the decision. "We are currently reviewing [the opinion], but have not yet made any decision regarding the City's future steps," Chief Deputy City Attorney Karen Moynahan said in a statement.
"All Portlanders should be thrilled," Kessler said in a statement. "The decision should make our City's business far more accessible to the press and public."