The amount that government agencies charge citizens for copies of public records can vary wildly. Still, there are rules. The state administration commissioner determined that the city of Wayzata was wrong when it tried to charge a citizen more than $4 a page for 61 copies.

Last year, Patrick McCarthy requested city records related to a school safety study. Wayzata billed McCarthy $265, most of which appeared to be the cost charged by a consultant to compile the records. 

McCarthy appealed the bill to the administration commissioner, who interprets state law governing public records. The state ruled that McCarthy could only be charged 25 cents per page, the standard cost for 100 copies or less. The maximum allowed charge: $15.25.

Read the full opinion here. The Department of Administration's advisory opinions on public records and open meetings questions are archived here.