Arizona FOIA procedures
Each state varies slightly in the procedures used to gain access to public documents. This article serves to describe specifically the steps used in Arizona. To read the history and details of Arizona’s sunshine laws please see Arizona Public Records Law.
How to request public records in Arizona
The act is silent as to how to request public records and does not require agencies to appoint an official public records custodian. The act does recommend directing records requests to the head of the department or lead administrator of the public agency.
Purpose and use
The law has some restrictions with regard to requesting public records for commercial purposes. It requires that any individual requesting records for commercial purposes state that at the outset of their request. If the department receiving the request feels that the purpose is a misuse of records, it may submit a request to the governor to have the records sealed.
Who may request records?
Arizona public records are open to inspection by "any person."
- See also: How much do public records cost?
Arizona statute allows for the charging of reasonable fees for publication, mailing and search expenses.
Statute 39-122 specifically says "No state, county or city, or any officer or board thereof shall demand or receive a fee or compensation for issuing certified copies of public records or for making search for them, when they are to be used in connection with a claim for a pension, allotment, allowance, compensation, insurance or other benefits which is to be presented to the United States or a bureau or department thereof," so, there are certain types of records that may not be charged for. (emphasis added)
- See also: Request response times by state
The time public agencies have to respond to a public records request is not specifically addressed by statute. The statute merely indicates that records should be available for viewing at all times during office hours.
- Arizona State Statutes Title 39
- Open Government Guide to Arizona
- Past articles on Arizona
- Ross-Blakley Law Library Guide to AZ public records
State of Arizona
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