Monday, November 9, 2009

OPRAing "high speed" audiotapes

Many local governments record the audio of their meetings on tape as opposed to compact disc.  One complaint that frequently arises is that the tapes are recorded at "high speed" and are impossible to listen to on ordinary cassette players.  When requestors ask for versions of the tapes that can actually be listened to, they are typically informed that satisfying their request is technologically impossible or that it is possible only upon payment of a prohibitively expensive "special service charge."

I have learned of a lawsuit filed in Camden County Superior Court that addressed this issue and resulted in a settlement under which the Borough agreed to provide future requestors with tapes at "normal speed."  The case is Susan Scoblink-O'Neill v. Borough of Haddon Heights, Docket No. L-4390-08.  The civil complaint and settlement agreement are on-line here.

The Plaintiff was represented by Donald M. Doherty, Jr. of West Berlin.

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