Definition of Public Record
Public records are defined as all data collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by any government entity regardless of its physical form, storage media or conditions of use. 1
Exemptions to Public Records
Exempt: Juvenile court records; and some personnel information. 2
Who Can Make The Request?
No timeframe is specified. 3
Information on Fees
The MGDPA is unclear on many of the facets of FOIA fees. In person inspection carries no charge, and government records that are electronic can be charged for the time spent searching for and duplicating the records electronically, but may not charge for redaction or legal review. Agencies in Minnesota have begun charging for search time and labor costs on lengthy requests and this practice has been held up on appeal. Paying for FOIA has been a growing issue for records requesters in Minnesota, and looks to be getting worse not better. 4
$300 fine can be levied by a court ordering an agency to grant access. It may also be classified as a misdemeanor depending if it was a willful violation or not. If it is filed as a misdemeanor the offending FOIA officer could be suspended without pay, or lose their job. 5
Yes, you can win attorney’s fees.