Oregon 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 Oregon. To read the history and details of Oregon’s sunshine laws please see Oregon Public Records Law
How to request public records in Oregon
Records request need to be directed to the department in possession of the public records.
Purpose and use
Oregon law does not require a statement of purpose and does not place any restrictions on the use of public records.
Who may request public records?
Anyone may request public records in Oregon. "Every person has a right to inspect any public record of a public body in this state."
- See also: How much do public records cost?
A fee "reasonably calculated to reimburse" may be charged, but no more than the actual cost to the agency.
- The burden of proof of establishing that specific charges are reasonable and actual is up to the custodian of the records. The custodian must be able to support that the charges are reasonable with specific supporting data.
- If the fee will exceed $25, a government agency must first provide an estimate of the fee and confirm that the requester wants to move ahead with the request.
- A charge for copies may also include the cost of staff time in conducting a file search and the cost of staff time involved in separating exempt records from non-exempt records. However, the agency is not allowed to charge for any attorney time spent deciding whether a record is exempt or not.
- According to the state's attorney general, the government agency can charge the requestor for the search time even if no records are located.
A waiver of fees or a reduction of fees may be given if the records that are to be disclosed "primarily benefits the general public." If a requestor asks for a waiver of fees, and the agency denies the request, there is an appeal's process available as described in ORS 192.440(5).
Note: If a particular government agency gets its funding from funds that are dedicated, whether by statute or the state's constitution, the agency is not allowed to waive its fees, no matter how much it may agree with the requestor that the purpose of the request would benefit the public.
- See also: Request response times by state
No response times are specified by Oregon law.
- Oregon Revised Statutes, 192.420
- ORS 192.440(4)
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