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Checklist for OR Request
STEP 1: RESEARCH
- What types of records are relevant to my request?
- What agency or agencies keeps those records?
- Are any of those records already publicly available?
STEP 2: DRAFTING AND SENDING THE WRITTEN REQUEST
- Have I clearly stated that I am making an open records act request?
- Have I provided some context for the request?
- Have I clearly and specifically identified the records I am seeking?
- Do I need to attach supporting news articles or records to help explain my request?
- Have I requested in advance that the custodian explain any denial of my request?
- Am I requesting a fee waiver or reduction?
- Am I requesting to be contacted in advance before any fees are incurred?
STEP 3: EVALUATING THE RESPONSE TO YOUR REQUEST
- Do the records produced by the custodian satisfy my request?
- Has the custodian adequately explained the basis for any fees being charged?
- Has the custodian adequately explained the legal basis for any records that were withheld?
STEP 4: FOLLOWING THROUGH
- Have I made a written objection in the following situations:
- The custodian has failed to make a timely response to my request;
- The custodian has failed to adequately explain the basis for fees or the denial of my request;
- The fees charged by the agency are excessive or unauthorized;
- The agency has withheld records that should be disclosed.
- Did the custodian provide more explanation, produce records, or lower fees, as appropriate?
- If not, should I consider contacting the media or advocacy organizations, or seeking legal assistance?