Florida agencies that break records laws could pay price

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Government agencies would have to pay attorney fees for people who successfully sue them to obtain public records under a bill heading to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

The House unanimously passed the bill Thursday. It means government agencies would have to pay attorney fees if a judge determines they broke the state’s open government laws by not providing records.

The law would apply if someone seeking records gave written notice of what they were trying to obtain at least five business days before filing suit.

But if a plaintiff’s public records request was made with improper intentions, such as to harass an agency or to force a violation so they can sue, a judge could order the requestor to pay legal costs and attorney fees to the agency.

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