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Student sues Horry County, says public record fees excessive

April 14, 2019

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — A Cornell University student is suing a South Carolina county, saying officials are violating the state’s Freedom of Information Act by charging excessive fees.

Emily Christianson’s lawsuit against Horry County says she requested warrants, indictments and sentencing documents in about 200 criminal cases.

Christianson says a court clerk first said she could email the information because it was online. The employee later told Christianson to file a public records request because personal information would have to be redacted.

Horry County officials told Christianson it would cost up to $2,000 to finish her request, refusing to give her an itemized accounting of the work.

Christianson’s lawyer Charles Grose says Horry County is charging excessive fees to keep the public from seeing records.

County officials say they don’t comment on pending lawsuits.

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