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Judge denies LVMPD request for high fees to produce 1 October documents

Posted at 2:01 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 20:51:47-05

A Las Vegas judge has ruled that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department can not charge the media "staff time" to get 1 October records ready to be copies.

The court also denied LVMPD's demand for its range of fees from $233,750 to $458,159. LVMPD was ordered to reevaluate and report back to the court with the proper fee that it proposes to charge the media. LVMPD was also ordered to immediately begin complying with the media's request.

In its case, the media contended that LVMPD could not charge more than 50 cents per page of documents. The media also contended that LVMPD must provide the electronic records (body cam footage, 911 calls and dispatch logs) for free. 

LVMPD argued that the media's request would requre an "extraordinary" use of personnel and technological resources, thereby entitling LVMPD to charge its actual cost to compile and copy the requested documents and data. 

The court said that both sides are wrong and that LVMPD can base its total fee on their basic copy cost of 31 cents per page and add 50 cents for the extra effort for a total of 81 cents per page. However, LVMPD must prove that its 31 cents per page charge is equal to or less than its actual costs. 

As for the electronic data, LVMPD must prove actual cost of making duplicats for the media. The court rules that they are limited to that cost.

In addition, LVMPD will be allowed to charge for pre-copy preparations of dispatch logs. Once again, it must be the actual cost.

LVMPD was given the minimum period of 6 months to produce all requested documents and must start the work within 3 business days. The media was also given the option to pay the fees in six monthly equal installments.

The ruling was made by Clark County District Judge Richard Scotti. Petitioners included the Las Vegas Review-Journal, American Broadcasting Companies, Associated Press, Cable News Network and New York Times. 

Shooter Stephen Paddock killed 58 people on Oct. 1, 2017, as they attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Hundreds more were injured. To this date, a motive for the shooting has not been discovered.