What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a United States federal law that grants the public access to information possessed by government agencies. Upon written request, U.S. government agencies are required to release information unless it falls under one of nine exemptions listed in the Act.

 

What is a Public Record?

Every record that is made or received by a government entity or employee is presumed to be a public record unless a specific statutory exemption permits or requires it to be withheld in whole or in part.

 

What is a Public Records Request?

A public records request is a request to either inspect, copy or both, public records. There is no requirement that the request be made in person or in writing, or be in any particular form. The person making the request is not required to identify himself/herself, or to provide information about the reason for the request or how the records will be used. The request must be clear enough to enable the Town/City to conduct a meaningful search. The Town/City may ask questions about the request in order to respond to the request fully and in a timely manner. The State acknowledges that access to information is a fundamental and necessary right of every citizen.

 

What Type of Records May I Request?

  • Annual Reports & Statistics
  • Arrest Reports
  • Autopsy Reports
  • Bank Records
  • Budgets
  • Business Records
  • Campaign Finance Records
  • Campus Crime & Disciplinary Records
  • Census Information
  • Contracts, Proposals & Bids
  • Court Records
  • Death Certificates
  • Divorce Records
  • Draft Documents
  • Driving Records
  • Election Records
  • Electronic Records (emails, text, social media, etc.)
  • Expense Records
  • Financial Records
  • Health Inspections
  • Higher Education Records
  • Highway Contracts
  • Hospital Financial & Operations Records
  • Internal Revenue Service Records
  • Labor Negotiations/Collective Bargaining Records
  • Law Enforcement Records
  • Legislative Records & Meetings
  • Local Government Records (Cities, Towns & Counties)
  • Marriage Licenses & Applications
  • Meeting Notices, Agendas & Minutes
  • Names of Public Employees, Positions, Qualifications & Salaries
  • Prison and Corrections Records
  • Public School Records
  • Quasi-Public Entities Records
  • Racial Profiling Records
  • Real Estate Appraisals, Negotiations
  • Regulatory Boards & Agency Records
  • Superfund Cleanup Records
  • Tax Records
  • Transportation Safety Records
  • Utility Records
  • Violent Crime Records
  • Vital Statistics
  • Voting Records
  • Worker Safety Records
  • Zoning and Planning Records