Minnesota 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 Minnesota. To read the history and details of Minnesota’s sunshine laws please see Minnesota Data Practices Act
How to request public records in Minnesota
The act requires that all public agencies designate an official records custodian in order to manage records requests. Records requests should be directed to this individual or any individual he or she designates to help with records.
Purpose and use
Nothing in the law requires a statement of purpose, but it does however place a restriction on the use of records. The act states that if a commercial use is intended, the government agency may charge an additional fee.
Who may request public records?
Anyone may request public records in Minnesota. They are also entitled to have the data explained to them if they don't understand it. A "person shall be permitted to inspect and copy public government data."
- See also: How much do public records cost?
While the law indicates that there shall be no fees for inspection of records, it allows for the charging of fees when someone requests a copy of the records. These fees can include the cost of duplication as well as the labor costs involved in the search. However, they cannot charge for the separation of public and private data. However, if the records are intended for commercial purposes an additional fee may be charged.
- See also: Request response times by state
There is no response time specified in the Minnesota law.
- Minnesota Statutes Minnesota Government Data Practices Act
- Advisory opinions regarding the Data Practices Act
- Open Government Guide to Minnesota
- Minnesota Statutes, 13.03(a)
- Minnesota Statute 13.03.3.B, D
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