Theresa Richard was detained in the Crowley, Louisiana, courthouse on Feb. 10 for trying to photograph copies of public records.
Richard claims she was trying to take pictures of a lawsuit filed by a police officer before a city meeting about the settlement of the suit.
In her videos (below) of the incident, Richard insists that she is allowed to photograph the documents, but city employees claim it's a violation of law, even though they can't name the specific law.
“I was told that I was not allowed to do this after I snapped this one picture,” Richard told PhotographyisNotaCrime.com, a website that she is a correspondent for. “After being detained for over an hour I was told that I was banned from the courthouse.”
An Acadia Parish Sheriff’s deputy reportedly made Richard to leave the records area and detained her in another part of the courthouse where he waited for a phone call to apparently find out what law Richard had broken. She repeatedly asked the deputy what law she had violated, but he could not cite a statute.
Later, the deputy reportedly handed her a list of rules that forbid mechanical reproduction, microphotographic reproduction, imaging, reproduction and photocopying of public records.
The list doesn't specifically mention photography, but that could fall under imaging.
Richard plans to file a lawsuit against the City of Crowley for being detained, which she claims was illegal.
Richard filed a lawsuit in December 2014 against the Crowley Police Department, the city and two police officers for violating her right to film twice, in 2013 and 2014, according to Richard's lawyers.
PhotographyisNotaCrime.com claims there was a sign in the courthouse that banned cameras beginning on March 1, 2015.
“I spoke to the Clerk of Court in Acadia Parish, Robby Baroushe, and he stood behind his employees, offered no apology, and told me that if I came back into the courthouse to photograph public records, I will risk arrest as they are stubbornly sticking to their behavior," added Richard.