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Posted by: Landry Butler on Jul 13, 2017

Head Comment: With concurring opinion by GIBSON.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert Dalton and David Hudson, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rickey Joe Taylor.

Attorneys 2:

Kristin E. Berexa and Ross V. Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Town of Lynnville.

Judge(s): GOLDIN

This is an appeal from a dispute litigated under the Tennessee Public Records Act. Although the trial court concluded that the Town of Lynnville violated the Act by denying the petitioner’s request for records, the court held that the denial of records was not willful. Accordingly, the petitioner’s request for attorney’s fees was denied. Having reviewed the record transmitted to us on appeal, we disagree with the trial court’s determination that the denial of records was not willful and reverse the trial court on this issue. In light of our conclusion that the denial of records was willful, we remand the case to the trial court to reconsider its decision to deny an award of attorney’s fees. We also remand for a determination of Mr. Taylor’s costs and attorney’s fees incurred in this appeal.