So, on full display for EVERYONE, is the now general attitude by Government officials – in this case, an employee – towards Citizens. In this case, a very HAUGHTY ‘tude by Superintendent David Ryan of SAU16 in response to Ann Marie’s Right to Know demand via RSA 91-a:
NH RSA 91-A requires public organizations to produce governmental records, not answer questions. Specifically under RSA 91-A:4, VII, the law provides: VII. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a public body or agency to compile, cross-reference, or assemble information into a form in which it is not already kept or reported by that body or agency.
Over and over and over again. In this, I see a pattern. SAU73, my School District, Superintendent Kirk Beitler, used the exact same construction in responding to my RTKs when I was trying to get straight answer concerning their implementation of Policy JBAB on gender dysphoria. Or did, until I threatened the School Board with a suit in Superior Court as the Law has a Remedy associated with it to deal with “bad faith” answers (emphasis mine):
91-A:8 Remedies. –
I. If any public body or public agency or officer, employee, or other official thereof, violates any provisions of this chapter, such public body or public agency shall be liable for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred in a lawsuit under this chapter, provided that the court finds that such lawsuit was necessary in order to enforce compliance with the provisions of this chapter or to address a purposeful violation of this chapter. Fees shall not be awarded unless the court finds that the public body, public agency, or person knew or should have known that the conduct engaged in was in violation of this chapter or if the parties, by agreement, provide that no such fees shall be paid.
Most people issuing RTKs are unaware of this – they only know that they can demand answers. What the NHSBANH and their “legal eagles” are good at is to supply local School Boards with ways to get around what most people would believe to be “good faith” requests for information. What they hope for is that “regular folk” don’t realize they have a “hammer”
II. The court may award attorney’s fees to a public body or public agency or employee or member thereof, for having to defend against a lawsuit under the provisions of this chapter, when the court finds that the lawsuit is in bad faith, frivolous, unjust, vexatious, wanton, or oppressive.
III. The court may invalidate an action of a public body or public agency taken at a meeting held in violation of the provisions of this chapter, if the circumstances justify such invalidation.
And here is where the Hammer falls:
IV. If the court finds that an officer, employee, or other official of a public body or public agency has violated any provision of this chapter in bad faith, the court shall impose against such person a civil penalty of not less than $250 and not more than $2,000. Upon such finding, such person or persons may also be required to reimburse the public body or public agency for any attorney’s fees or costs it paid pursuant to paragraph I. If the person is an officer, employee, or official of the state or of an agency or body of the state, the penalty shall be deposited in the general fund. If the person is an officer, employee, or official of a political subdivision of the state or of an agency or body of a political subdivision of the state, the penalty shall be payable to the political subdivision.
V. The court may also enjoin future violations of this chapter, and may require any officer, employee, or other official of a public body or public agency found to have violated the provisions of this chapter to undergo appropriate remedial training, at such person or person’s expense.
I would HIGHLY suggest that Ann Marie resubmit her questions with some tweaking. Given that I submitted, basically, the same RTK, I most likely would have been able to prove the case in Part 1 and Part IV. If she has to go through this same rigamarole multiple times, I’m betting she would as well.