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State Public Record Laws

All 50 states also have public records laws which allow members of the public (including non-residents) to obtain documents and other public records from state and local government bodies. State public records laws are not identical to FOIA nor are state court interpretations of similar language in state statutes necessarily the same as federal court interpretation of FOIA (though many were modeled upon the federal FOIA). Several state courts have held that federal judicial interpretations of FOIA are at least helpful in interpreting similar language in state public record laws.

  "The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created."  
Washington Public Records Act,
RCW §42.17.251.

Many of these laws are similar to FOIA, but the similarities notwithstanding, you must be alert to recognize where there are important differences. These distinctions may arise in regard to the breadth of coverage of a disclosure exemption or in the implementation of response deadlines. ALWAYS review the specific law and regulation you are working with before you proceed. Be aware that merely because your failure to comply with a particular requirement is not raised immediately at the administrative level does not ensure that the problem will not come back to haunt you should you seek judicial review.

Click on your state in the map or list below for that state's public records laws.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington Washington D.C. West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

The citations for the state public records acts follows:

Alabama Ala. Code 36-12-40 et seq.
Alaska Alaska Stat. 09.25.100 to .220
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat.Ann.39-121 to 1-24
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. 25-19-101.
California Cal.Gov.Code 6250 to 6270
Colorado C.R.S. 24-72-201 et seq
Connecticut Conn.Gen.Stat.§1-200 et seq
Delaware 29 Del. C. § 10001 et seq.
District of Col. DC Official Code §§ 2-531
Florida Fla.Stat.Ann. 119.01 to .165
Georgia Ga.CodeAnn. 50-18-70 to 76
Hawaii Haw. Rev. Stat. §92F-1 et seq.
Idaho Id Code 9-338 to 350
Illinois 5 ILCS 140/1
Indiana Ind.Code Ann. 5-14-3-1 to 10
Iowa Iowa Code Ann. 22.1 to .14
Kansas Kan.Stat.Ann 45-215 to 225
Kentucky Ky.Rev.Stat..Ann. 61.870 to .884
Louisiana La.Rev.Stat.Ann. 44:31
Maine Me.Rev.Stat.Ann. 1-13 § 408
Maryland Md.Code Ann., State & Govt, 10-611 to 628
Massachusetts Mass.Gen.Laws Ann. Ch.4, 7; Ch. 66,10
Michigan MCL 15.231
Minnesota Minn. Stat. Ann. 13.03
Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. 25-61-1 et seq
Missouri Mo.Ann.Stat. 109.180 to .190
Montana Mont.Code Ann. 2-6-101 to 111
Nebraska NEB. REV. STAT. 84-712
Nevada Nev.Rev.Stat.Ann. 239.005 to .040
New Hampshire NH Rev. Stat. 91-A:1
New Jersey N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
New Mexico 14-2-1 NMSA 1978 et seq.
New York NY Pub. Off. Law Sec. 84
North Carolina N.C.Gen. Stat. 132-1 to 10
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code 44-04-18 to -18.8
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code. Ann 149.43
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. Ann. Tit. 51.24A.1 to .18
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. 192.410 to .505
Pennsylvania Pa.Cons.Stat.Ann. Tit. 65, 66..1 to .4
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-1 to -14
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. 30-4-10
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws Ann. 1-27-1 to -19
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. 10-7-503 et seq.
Texas Tx Code Ann.Secs552.001 to 552.353
Utah Utah Code.Ann. 63G-2-101 to -207
Vermont 1 V.S.A. Sec. 315-320
Virginia Va. Code Sec. 2.2-3704
Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. 42.56.001 to .904
West Virginia W.Va. Code Sec. 29B-1-1
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. Ann. 19.31 to .39
Wyoming Wyo.Stat.Ann,9-2-407
 
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