28 July 2007

city of pineville responds to lynton hester's public records request

heres the city of pineville's reply to lynton hester's public records request. (for background see also here and here.)

besides being a day late in their reply, we see that pineville is raising the same bullshit excuses with mr. hester as they did in gregory aymond's request. the city of pineville went so far as to sue mr. aymond in an attempt to thwart his public records request. will they do the same to mr. hester?

we see that pineville is using the same worn out ridiculous excuses in mr. hester's request when they say that "...in regard to your request to have the e-mails put on CD or some other media, the City will not agree to do so because of security concerns...ie...if placed on computer related media, the City loses the ability to ensure that the e-mail content is not edited or tampered with in some way". this is an insult to anyones intelligence because even if emails were "edited or tampered with in some way" the city still retains the original emails to refute with. its also funny because pineville raises this same issue in its lawsuit against gregory aymond yet does not cite one case anywhere in the country in which emails were edited or tampered with.

next pineville says that the emails are currently stored on mr. dupree's computer hard drive and that it would be disruptive to have his computer offline for what pineville reckons would be the several hundred hours it would take mr. hester to view the emails in question.

so what does pineville propose to do to solve this? have boudreaux and thibodeaux from the city's "information technology department" set up another computer so that mr. hester may view the emails from off that computer.

now to accomplish this, the city would have to either remove mr. dupree's hard drive and install it on the other computer which doesnt make sense or they would have to somehow remove the emails in question to a device, cd, dvd, etc and reinstall them into the new computer. if the city can do this they can just as easily place the emails on a cd or dvd and give them to mr. hester, which is what mr. aymond requested them to do in the first place!

in 1984 the louisiana supreme court in Title Research Corp. v. Rausch, 450 So.2d 933 (La., 1984) [6 page .pdf] ruled:

As a qualified member of the public, Mr. Heeter is entitled to inspect, copy, reproduce, or obtain a reproduction of the requested public records. He has chosen to reproduce the records, in toto, by means of microphotographic reproduction techniques. He has chosen the method, and the clerk-custodian may not inquire into his choice of medium. Nor may the clerk inquire as to the purpose for the large request. A commercial purpose will not justify thwarting the right to copy the public records.
lucy reid raush, was the clerk of court for st. tammany parish, louisiana and the court ruled that she could not prohibit someone from bringing their own recording device into the courthouse to copy public records. there was never a question about someone editing or tampering the records despite the fact that the records in question were conveyance and mortgage records of the parish -- instead it was all about money:
"The clerk responded that the records would be available for inspection only, and that plain paper copies of the records could be purchased from the clerk at the rate of fifty cents per page."
and again ten years later, in 2004, louisiana's second circuit court of appeal in First Commerce Title Co., Inc. v. Martin, 887 So.2d 716 (LA, 2004) [6 page .pdf] reversed the lower courts ruling and ordered:
[T]he judgment is reversed, and the clerk of court of Bienville Parish is hereby ordered to permit the use of a hand-held scanner in the clerk of court's office to copy public records during normal business hours at no charge.
so whats the difference in someone using a hand held scanner to copy public records and in having emails or other documents downloaded onto a cd or dvd media? versus, as the city of pineville maintains that they must only be copied onto paper so that as pineville erroneously argues, that they cant be tampered with or edited. also the fact that pineville maintains that the emails can only be copied onto paper has the added benefit of prohibiting citizens obtaining the public records as you see when pineville wants $3,531 [2,582 eur] in copying fees.

dont you find it interesting how the city and its attorney's would know about the 12 april 2005 state supreme court ruling in
sabine parish police jury v commissioner of alcohol and tobacco control [30 page .pdf] which potentially will allow alcohol sales in and around pineville yet not know about title research corp v raush and first commerce v martin? ho humm just another day in the banana republic of louisiana.

click to enlarge

see also
central la politics blog
the rumor mill from pineville
and also
cenla tidbits
  • rich dupree emails
  • pineville city attorney litigates for casino slot machine scam
  • pineville mayor address public records lawsuit
  • judge swent waffles on pineville public records lawsuit
  • city of pineville v gregory aymond
  • greg aymond - rich dupree .mp3s
  • tony snowjob & white house press corps agree: bloggers suck!
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  • search this blog * pineville, la.
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    updated 1:09 pm cdt sunday 29 july 2007