U Memo 09-5

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 in Informal Opinions - UIPA Opinions

U Memo 09-5
January 29, 2009
Inmate Inspection of Records Before Payment of Copying Fees

An inmate asked whether the Department of Public Safety (“PSD”) must allow him to inspect the copies of government records he requested before requiring him to pay the full amount of fees that PSD assessed for providing the copies in response to his records request under part II of the UIPA.

OIP concluded that because the requester is confined in PSD’s correctional facility and is unable to inspect the records at the location where PSD maintains them, he may seek public access to the records by requesting copies of the records and will be assessed the applicable fees. PSD may require the requester to prepay only those portions of the estimated fees as specified in section 2-71-19(b), Hawaii Administrative Rules, and may cease to process the request, including providing the records, if the requester fails to submit the full amount of the prepayment, in which case the requester is presumed to have abandoned the request.