BRIDGEWATER - Taxpayers in Bridgewater were forced to pay for a lawsuit over a digital recording of a council meeting that wound up costing thousands of dollars.

Bridgewater resident Tom Coulter wanted a recording of a council meeting and requested it under the Open Public Records Act. The township charged the resident $5.

Coulter paid the $5 and then filed a legal complaint that the township was overcharging. The law says the cost can't be more than the cost of the disc itself.

The township lost the case. After three years, the court case cost the township $14,000 in legal fees. It was also forced to pay Coulter $3,000 in legal fees and refund him $4.04 for the disc.