Lawsuit: DMV signs banning recording are unconstitutional

Local News

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A lawsuit filed by Rhode Island Moderate Party Chairman William Gilbert says it’s unconstitutional for the Department of Motor Vehicles to post signs prohibiting taking photos or videos inside its branches.

Gilbert filed the lawsuit against the state agency after he tried to document his time registering his daughter’s car.

“We had to return another day just to stand in the same line to get another ticket to stand in the next line,” Gilbert said during a taping of Dan Yorke State of Mind.

The signs, according to Gilbert, forbid recording of any kind inside the buildings.

“I think everybody should be able to take out their camera and record their interactions with government officials—especially at the registry—to highlight what goes on in that absurdity of a circus,” Gilbert added. “I think we would have a better registry if everyone exposed that. It’s kind of the essence of citizens’ journalism.”

DMV spokesperson Paul Grimaldi said the signs have since been taken down. He would not comment further, only adding the attorney general is handling the case.

Gilbert says he will still move forward with the lawsuit.

“I’m glad they took the signs down but there is nothing preventing them from reapplying the signs or posting the signs again without court action,” he said.

Gilbert ran for governor unsuccessfully in 2018.

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