The Reasonableness of Charging for Copies & FEES for a County Employee’s Time to Make Copies for the Public!  

Mayor Arp’s Copy Fee Proposal Goes To Court!
By Pat Hunter


What’s at stake with this public records lawsuit - just your Freedoms and Rights!


The Tennessee Supreme Court in 1994 held that the purpose of the Tennessee Open Records Act is “to apprise the public about the goings-on of its governmental bodies.” Source: Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.


On June 12, 2007 (Tuesday) at the Roane County Courthouse, 9:00 AM, Chancellor Frank V. Williams III will hear arguments on the reasonableness of charging for copy fees. The Court hearing is open to the public and press.


Robert Bowman of Kramer Rayson will present to the Court, Mayor Arp’s proposal of charging 7 cents per copy AND additional FEES of the county employee’s time to make the copies. These fees appear to mirror the Fee Schedule attached to the Public Records resolution,  (PDF) which was distributed at the January 2007 commission workshop.


Loudon County Fee Schedule For Copies of Public Records


Seven cents (.7¢) per page, plus the costs of the county employee’s time to make the copies based on the following rate: 1 to 6 minutes $2.34

7 to 12 minutes $4.69

13 to 18 minutes $7.02

19 to 24 minutes $9.36

25 to 30 minutes $11.70

31 to 36 minutes $14.04

37 to 42 minutes $16.38

43 to 48 minutes $18.72

49 to 54 minutes $21.06

55 to 60 minutes $23.47


Mayor Arp had hoped that Loudon County Commissioners would rubber stamp his proposal at the February commission meeting. However, because of your emails and phone calls, commissioners decided to table any action until they could obtain another Legal Opinion  (PDF)from County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS).


“The legislature made it clear that its intent in passing this law was to “...give the fullest possible public access to public records” and it instructed the courts to exercise whatever remedies are necessary to ensure that purpose is fulfilled…” Source: CTAS.


Thus far, the Court has ruled that Mayor Arp may not charge for the inspection (viewing) of public records and Arp may not require that a form be filled out as a condition to viewing or obtaining public records. 


Your Elected Loudon County Officials


Mayor Doyle Arp, Phone: 458-4664 office, 458- 3980 home Chairman Budget Committee), Email:

1st District - Nancy Marcus, Phone: 458-8581, Email: Budget Committee

1st District - David Meers, Phone: 458-2414, Email:     

2nd District - Earlena Maples - Phone 986-6772, Email:

2nd District - Shirley Reno - Phone 986-1256, Email:

3rd District - Bob Franke Phone: 856-0303, Email: Budget Committee

4th District Roy Bledsoe (Chairman) Phone: 458-2829

5th District Harold Duff - Phone 988-6647, Email:

5th District Chris Park - Phone: 986-1229, Email: Budget Committee

6th District - Wayne Gardin, Phone: 988-4433 Email:

7th District - Don Miller, Phone: 458-0658, Email Budget Committee