Baltimore Police Dep't v. Open Justice BaltimoreAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) arbitrarily and capriciously denied Open Justice Baltimore's (OJB) request for a fee waiver in relation to the production of closed files relating to certain use of force investigations and remanded the case to BPD to reconsider OJB's requested fee waiver in light of the factors set forth in this opinion, as well as other relevant factors.
OJB, an organization seeking to investigate and publicize reports of police misconduct, filed several requests under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) for records relating to citizen and administrative complaints of police misconduct. OJB asked BPD to waive the approximately $245,000 in fees it would cost to produce the files, asserting that a fee waiver would be in the public interest. BPD denied the fee waiver request in its entirety. The circuit court upheld the fee waiver denial. The Supreme Court remanded the case, holding that BPD's fee waiver denial was arbitrary and capricious because BPD failed meaningfully to consider all relevant factors in deciding whether to grant the requested fee waiver.