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According to a recent ruling by the District III Court of Appeals in Wisconsin, convicted criminals could be due compensation from County government for poorly reproduced copies of Public Records.
Mark Renaldo Lowe, 45, filed a request in February 2005 asking St. Croix County Clerk of Court Lori Meyer to provide him with a a video recording of a traffic stop from a state trooper’s dashboard camera.
Meyers initially denied Lowe’s request on the grounds that her office didn't have the technology to make a copy of the video tape, according to background information in the appeals court decision.
After Lowe filed a formal court petition, Meyer sent Lowe copies prepared by Deputy Sheriff Kyle Magnus, who certified that the copy was substantially as good as the original. But the quality was poor according to Lowe and he quickly returned the tape, pointing out the defects.
According to records filed with the appeals court, St. Croix County Judge Scott Needham also found that the copy was basically as good as the original and described defects as "cosmetic."
The Court of Appeals disagreed.The appeals court ruled in June that Lowe is entitled to actual damages and sent the matter back to the county judge to "allow Lowe to present evidence of actual damages caused by (Meyer's) failure to provide a good the videotape.” The ruling said the copy ‘is seriously flawed’ adding that a major part of Lowe's expenses in getting the copy were incurred in the appeal process.
St. Croix County is the 80th Fastest Growing County In the USA