Town of Rock Hall, MD
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 102.
[Adopted 8-3-2015 by Res. No. 2015-07]
This article establishes the applicable rules and regulations for filing and processing requests to the Town of Rock Hall for inspection and/or copying of the Town's public records in accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act, Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, § 4-101 et seq., as amended from time to time (the "MPIA"). The rules and regulations set forth in this article supplement the MPIA. In case of any conflict between any rule or regulation in this article and the MPIA, the MPIA shall control. All terms used herein that are defined in § 4-101 of the MPIA shall be ascribed the meaning set forth therein.
It is the policy of the Town of Rock Hall to facilitate access to public records when access is allowed by law and to minimize cost and time delays to requesters.
The Clerk-Treasurer is designated as the official custodian of the Town's public records.
Any person or governmental unit may request to inspect or copy the Town's public records.
A. 
Except as provided in Subsection B herein, the custodian may make the Town's public records available for inspection by a requester without requiring a written request.
B. 
The custodian shall require a written request if the custodian reasonably believes that:
(1) 
The MPIA or any other law may prevent the disclosure of the public record to the requester; or
(2) 
A written request will materially assist the Town in responding thereto.
C. 
If the requester requests copies of any public record, the custodian may require a written request.
A written request shall:
A. 
Contain the requester's name, address, telephone number and e-mail address;
B. 
Be signed and dated by the requester; and
C. 
Reasonably identify, by brief description, the public record(s) being requested.
D. 
Be addressed to the Custodian of Records, Town of Rock Hall, P.O. Box 367, 5585 Main Street, Rock Hall, Maryland 21661.
Unless prohibited by law, the custodian may provide notice of a request for inspection or copying of any public record of the Town to any person who, in the judgment of the custodian, could be adversely affected by disclosure of that public record. The custodian may consider the views of the potentially adversely affected person before deciding whether to disclose the public record.
A. 
If a requested public record of the Town is in the custody and control of the Town but is not immediately available for inspection or copying, the custodian shall promptly:
(1) 
Notify the requester that the public record is not immediately available; and
(2) 
Schedule a date within a reasonable time for inspection or copying or when it will be provided.
If a requested public record has been lost or destroyed, the custodian shall promptly:
A. 
Notify the requester that the public record has been destroyed or lost; and
B. 
If known, explain the reason why the public record has been destroyed or lost.
A. 
The Town reserves the right to charge fees for copying public records as set forth in Resolution No. 2014-06; provided, however, that the first two hours spent responding to a request shall be provided at no charge. Upon request, any public record may be certified by the Clerk-Treasurer for an additional charge of $1 per page.
B. 
If the custodian cannot reasonably copy a public record at the Town Office, the custodian shall make arrangements for reproduction of the record at an outside private facility. The custodian shall direct the requester to pay the cost of reproduction directly to the facility making the copy.
C. 
Before copying a public record for a requester, the custodian shall estimate the cost of reproduction and either obtain agreement from the requester to pay the cost or obtain prepayment of the cost.
D. 
If a requester requests that copies of a public record be mailed or delivered to the requester or to a third party, the custodian may charge the requester for the cost of postage or delivery.
E. 
Method of payment. Any fee assessed under this policy shall be paid by cash, check or money order. Checks and money orders shall be made payable to the "Town of Rock Hall."
F. 
Waiver or reduction of fee.
(1) 
The custodian may waive or reduce any fee set under this article if:
(a) 
The requester requests a waiver; and
(b) 
The custodian determines that the request was made in the public interest and not to advance any private interest.
(2) 
In deciding whether to waive or reduce any fee set under this policy, the custodian shall also consider the ability of the requester to pay the fee.
Except where inspection would interfere with the other duties of the custodian, a requester may inspect public record(s) that the requester is entitled to inspect during the normal working hours of the Town. Inspection shall occur at the Town Office, located at 5585 Main Street, Rock Hall, Maryland 21661, unless the custodian, taking into account the requester's wishes, determines that another location is more suitable and convenient.