State Public Records Laws

Requesting Records from State Governments

The federal Freedom of Information Act does not apply to records held by state and local government officials. However, many states have laws that provide public access to records of state and local government bodies upon requests. Some state laws are very similar to the federal Freedom of Information Act, but many are quite different. The procedures for requesting records from state to state. State laws also have exemption provisions that are slightly different from those under the federal law

The links below provide information on the laws that govern public access to records of state and local government.

 

General Guides To State Laws

List of Statutory Citations of State F0I Laws
by the Freedom of Information Center of the University of Missouri School of Journalism on the Campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
State and National Freedom of Information Resources
by the National Freedom of Information Coalition, an affiliation of state organizations promoting access to government information.
Tapping Official Secrets
A guide to using state open government laws for records and meetings by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Resources for Particular States

California Public Records Act Guide
hosted by the First Amendment Project
Florida Government in the Sunshine: A Citizen's Guide
hosted by by The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information
Indiana Public Access Counselor
Public Access Counselor provides advice and assistance concerning the Indiana's public access laws.
Missouri Sunshine Law: Open Meetings and Open Records
A chapter of the Missouri Media Law Handbook Media Law Committee, The Missouri Bar 1997.
New York Committee on Open Government
State Committee responsible for overseeing and advising with regard to the New York Freedom of Information, Open Meetings and Personal Privacy Protection Laws.
Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
An advisory council in the Virginia legislature established to encourage and facilitate compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.