Hi Dencie,

The public records law clearly allows you to charge for vault time in
the situation you describe.  It is unclear, however, whether you can
charge the $1.00 fee for uncertified copies.

It is likely that a court would find that no copy fee could be charged
on one of two grounds:  1)because, arguably, a photo is not a
"copy," or 2) because implicit in 32 V.S.A. section
1671(a)(7)(charge for uncertified copies) is that the fee is payment
for use of town equipment, supplies and staff time.  Since use of
one's own camera imposes no costs on the town, it is likely that a
court (if asked) would say that no fee (beyond the vault fee) may be

Note that as clerk you can and should ensure that the person
taking the photos does not disrupt the operation of your office or
damage the documents being photographed.

I hope this is helpful.