Ohio Requester

Contact person responding to my document request said she tried to send me the files electronically, but their server bounced the send attempt because the file was too big. I asked how big it was, she wouldn’t say. I asked to be put in touch with their network admin, she wouldn’t do that . Bottom line, I’m being told I need to show up in person to pick up my records. To its credit, my county’s website takes pains to encourage requesters to make requests anonymously through email. However, being required to pick up the records in person obviously runs counter to this.

If anyone else has had success with overcoming this excuse for not sending records back through email, please advise. I estimate that the records in question would easily fit onto a spreadsheet and in that form would be tiny. Less than one MB for sure. But of course, public offices love to give you things in pdf format in order to discourage efficient searching, data manipulation etc. In pdf format, it could legitimately be 2400 pages, which i estimate could be ~20 GB. Current email attachment limit for a standard Gmail attachment is 25 GB, so my system should be able to receive it. But of course, the problem ostensibly is their server, which has unknown settings for attachment limits. On the other hand, the contact person has said in our email exchange that she tried to send it to me, which clearly tells me that this is a normal way they send FOIA responses, and it also implies that she initially figured it would send.

If part of your job as a county employee is to email FOIA requests back to requesters, it is reasonable to assume that you’d have a good sense of what your own email server’s attachment size limits are. One would also assume that such a person would actually know what size the attachment in question actually was, since she stated that it was she herself who had attempted the send. And yet when I asked her what size the file was, she said she didn’t know.

Any help on this would be much appreciated.

A. Trivisonno

Can you provide a link to your request? Also, has there been any attempt to contact the employee handling your request?