According to the Florida Statute Chapter 119, public records are anything that includes the transactions of government agencies with the public. These records can be made on anything such as papers, books, film, images, and documents and in other media format. Public records such as the Florida Public Records Search are accessible by the public and can be requested anytime. There are however some parts of the public records that will have to be exempted or redacted by the Custodian due to the sensitivity of the information. Confidential information is only released to the individuals who are included, have direct connection to the report, or are designated by the government to obtain the said records. |
One can make their request by writing or contacting the Office of the Custodian of Public Records. Contacting the office is the fastest way to request the information; however, for those whose requests are a bit complex, they might want to put their request in writing. The Florida public records office has a sample of the letter if one wishes to make their request in writing. Although the law states that the agency is not obligated to answer the request(s) in a certain time, it however requires the office to act on the request within a reasonable time as such processing for the request might take some time.
Chapter 119 states a certain fee that agencies should follow. The fee for a one-sided copy costs $.15 and a two-sided one costs $.20. On the other hand, $1 fee is required for certified copies. The agencies should not charge above the rates indicated though the agencies can charge and go above these fees indicated in certain instances. One is when the person who requested the records wants them in a different format. This can be in audio or CD format. If the agency has such in their records, they can make a copy and charge the cost to the person requesting the records. Another is when one requires a different set of records such as court records, aerial photos, crash or homicide reports and maps of counties. For records that would require extensive searches, the cost of the search will be charged to the person requesting the record. The cost estimate will be relayed to the latter and might need some deposit.
There are requests that the Office will deny, usually with a written note on why the request was denied. For those who feel that the denial is rebuttable, they can try out several options to reverse the denial. One would be to contact the Attorney General’s Office. Another is to talk with the local state attorney and lastly, is to file for a Writ of Mandamus.
For those who are interested to access several government public records, the internet provides several options to make the searches easier. Some counties now make the records online and available to the public. Another is to check a third party site that offers public records free or for a small amount. Either way, checking online can help one to obtain the necessary information that they want as well as have them delivered at one’s convenience.
Free Florida Public Records the right answer for you? Possibly, but find out for sure by visiting us at Free Public Records with our insights and information.
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