Inmate contests $200 document fee

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission is being asked to reconsider how poor a prison inmate must be to obtain public documents for free.

Convicted murderer Derrick Taylor is requesting several thousand pages of documents from the Department of Correction related to operations of Northern Correctional Institution, where he is housed.

The department allowed him to review the documents, but it says he can’t have copies unless he pays $200 for processing. They say Taylor doesn’t qualify for a fee waiver, because he has more than $5 in his commissary account.

In an appeal heard Friday, Taylor called that definition of indigent ridiculous and discriminatory.

Members of the general public can get a fee waiver for public documents if they meet federal poverty guidelines.

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