Judge awards $57K in attorney’s fees in open records lawsuit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A judge has ordered the city of Nashville to pay nearly $57,000 in attorney’s fees in an open records case related to police reports.

Senior Judge Robert E. Lee Davies ruled in August that Metropolitan Nashville Police had misinterpreted and ignored state law regarding prompt responses to records requests after the department began in 2014 to require specific records requests after previously making redacted accident reports available in their entirety.

The city had argued that state law gave its attorneys seven days to respond to each request. Davies said records must be released promptly unless there is a specific reason why they can’t be.

Davis found that the city was willful in failing to follow the law, a requirement for awarding attorney’s fees in public records lawsuits.