Superior Court Associate Justice David A. Anderson has rendered a decision on the matter of David K. Taylor v School Administrative Unit 55 regarding Mr. Taylor’s claims that the SAU violated components of the state’s Right-to-Know law. Justice Anderson awarded SAU 55 judgement on the SAU’s protocol to use USB thumb drives versus email to deliver electronic records to requestors, to charge for the actual cost of those thumb drives (if not provided by requestor), and to segregate nonpublic meeting minutes, deeming none of these practices violate the provisions of RSA 91-A. A fourth argument involved the sealing of SAU Board minutes during a nonpublic session. The SAU Board did, in fact, seal minutes during nonpublic session, and did so without knowledge of a modification of the law (effective January 2016) directing this action be done in public session only. Upon learning of the error, the SAU Board met and took corrective action. The timing of this corrective action in relation to the filing of the complaint was the basis for the court to award costs to Mr. Taylor. Justice Anderson is yet to make judgement on Mr. Taylor’s claim that a redaction of the minutes is unlawful.
The SAU Board is grateful for the thoughtful consideration of the court. The Board is confident the office procedure on fulfilling Right-to-Know requests is not only in full compliance with state statute, but also affords members of the public an equitable process for the delivery of requested information.
Jason Cipriano, Chair
Dr. Earl Metzler, Superintendent
School Administrative Unit No. 55
October 27, 2016