This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Dash Cam Video from a Tennessee State Trooper?

Question from Lenny, How Much Does It Cost to Get a Dash Cam Video from a Tennessee State Trooper?

Answer from AI:

When you’re involved in a car accident, obtaining a copy of the dash cam video from a Tennessee State Trooper’s vehicle can be crucial for insurance claims, legal cases, or personal records. The cost and process to obtain this footage can vary, and it’s important to understand the general steps and potential expenses involved.

Understanding Public Records Requests in Tennessee

In Tennessee, dash cam videos from State Troopers are considered public records under the Tennessee Public Records Act (TPRA). This act allows individuals to request access to government records. However, there are fees associated with obtaining copies of these records.

Cost Factors:
The cost to obtain a dash cam video can include:

  • Copying fees: These are the costs per page for physical copies or per electronic file. While dash cam footage would be an electronic file, the Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel provides a schedule of reasonable charges that can be applied to the duplication of electronic records.
  • Labor costs: If the request takes more than one hour to fulfill, you may be charged for the labor involved in locating and copying the video.
  • Materials: Any cost related to the medium on which the video is provided, such as a DVD or a USB drive, may also be billed.

Steps to Request Dash Cam Video

  1. Identify the specific video: You will need details such as the date, time, and location of the incident, as well as the trooper’s name or badge number if possible.
  2. Submit a public records request: This can typically be done through the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) or the Department of Safety & Homeland Security. It’s advisable to submit the request in writing, clearly stating that you are requesting under the TPRA.
  3. Wait for a response: The agency will review your request and inform you of any costs associated with fulfilling it. They may also notify you if there are any exemptions or reasons why the video cannot be released.
  4. Pay the required fees: Once you agree to the costs, you will need to pay the fees before receiving the video.

Important Considerations

Exemptions: There might be circumstances under which the video is exempt from public disclosure, such as ongoing investigations or privacy concerns.
Legal advice: In some cases, it might be beneficial to consult with a legal professional, especially if the video is needed for litigation or a complex insurance claim.

Conclusion

The cost to obtain a dash cam video from a Tennessee State Trooper can vary based on several factors, including copying fees, labor costs, and materials. It’s important to follow the proper steps to request the video and be prepared to cover the associated costs. For specific guidance or if you encounter difficulties in obtaining the video, consulting with a legal professional may be advisable.

Remember, this information provides a general overview, and the actual process or costs may vary. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to contact the relevant Tennessee authorities directly or visit the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security website.

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