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Tennessee Public Records Act Requires Fees For Copying, Production

Pro se Tennessee State prisoner Omawali Shabazz, aka Fred Dean, appealed a 1999 ruling denying certain documents and requiring fees for others. Dean had brought an action to compel the production of documents from various Tennessee Department of Corrections personnel, Prison Health Services, Inc. (PHS), and their employees under the Public Records Act (Act). The judgment was affirmed.

Dean requested a number of documents to be delivered to the Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex where he was incarcerated at no charge.
His request being denied, he brought action. The court ruled that some of the requested documents were exempt as interrogatories, some were non existent, some were not in the possession of the agency they were requested from, and the ones that were discloseable would require a fee of 20 cents per page. Dean appealed.

The Middle Section Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Nashville affirmed the judgment and denied Dean's additional complaints against PHS and it's employees since they were not government entities. The court noted that Dean could not view the documents prior to making payment and needed to specify which documents were sought. See: Shabazz v. Campbell, 63 S.W.3d 776 (Tenn. App. 2001).

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Related legal case

Shabazz v. Campbell