Money Order No Good For Open Records Requests at City

Information AlertFrankly, I’m confused. I while back I submitted an open records request that resulted in a substantial amount of data. The city sent me an invoice for a little over $100. According to the invoice, the city accepts cash, checks or credit cards. Being over 1,700 miles away I wasn’t about to mail cash. I didn’t want to use a credit card because I didn’t want to commingle personal funds with business monies. And since almost everything I do now is online I haven’t bothered to order checks for the El Paso News, Inc. business account.

Therefore I did what I thought was the prudent thing to do. I mailed a money order to the city for the full amount. Late yesterday I received an email from the city letting me know that they got the money order, however they are sending it back to me because the “city does not accept money orders“.

I cannot use the bank’s online “bill pay” option because there is no way to attach the required invoice to it. Therefore my only option is to use one of the temporary checks the bank gave me when I opened the account.

To be honest, I’m not really sure how to react to the city’s resistance to accepting a money order for an open records request. In my business, I would prefer a money order over a check. I guess I’m missing something.

2 thoughts on “Money Order No Good For Open Records Requests at City

  1. Martin,

    Would you be willing to post a copy of the email the city sent you?

    Was there anything unusual about the money order?

    Unless there was something wrong with the money order this could be a big problem for someone.

    Brutus

  2. Hi Brutus,

    I’m waiting for a response to my email this morning. I have not received anything yet. I bought the money order at the US Post Office so I’m not sure what the problem is. I checked the Texas Attorney General’s website and others and it seems to me that they accept checks or money orders. Yes, I’ll post the email once I get a response from the city. Depending on their response I may do a follow up blog post or I might consider filing a complaint with the Texas Attorney General. To be clear, my response this morning to the city was if it was acceptable to send them a temporary check from my business account, since I never ordered checks because I use the online payment option. I’m hoping that this is just a misunderstanding and not some type of delaying tactic. The reason I offered to send a temporary check is because I have been waiting for weeks on this open records request and it is holding up some research I’m working on. I’ll keep you and everyone else posted on what happens next.

    Thanks for your participation,
    Martin

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