Pennsylvania Open Records and Right-To-Know
Right to Know Officer
phone: (570) 828-2347
HOW TO FILE A REQUEST
A requester can file a Right-to-Know request in four ways:
- Electronic mail
- In person
- U.S. Mail
Make sure your request for records is specific and concise. Identify as specifically as you can the records you want, so that an agency can quickly locate them and determine whether they are public record. Make sure when you file a RTK request, you are seeking records and not just asking questions. The law governs the release of records, not answering questions.
PRESUMPTION OF OPENNESS
Under the Right-To-Know Law, all records are presumed to be public records unless disclosure is barred by: (1) state or federal law or regulation; (2) judicial order; (3), privilege, e.g., attorney-client or doctor-patient; or (4) one of the exceptions in Section 708 of the Right-to-Know Law.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DELAWARE TOWNSHIP:
The Township has five business days to respond in writing to: (1) grant the request; (2) deny the request, citing the legal basis for the denial or partial denial; or (3) invoke a 30-calendar day extension for certain reasons.
The clock starts the day after the RTK request is received during regular business hours. In other words, the Township has five business days to respond to a request, whether you place the request in person or by mail.
Acceptable grounds for a 30-calendar day extension include: off-site location of records, staffing limitations, need for legal review or redaction, complex request, or the requester did not pay applicable fees as required or failed to follow Township policy.
If the Township does not respond to a request in the allotted time, the request is deemed denied, and you have the right to file an appeal with the Office of Open Records.
The fee for a standard 8 1/2 x 11 black and white document is up to 25 cents per page.
- Postage fees may not exceed the actual cost of mailing.
- The Township cannot charge for the time it takes to redact a document or the legal review needed to determine if a document is a public record.
- The Township may require pre-payment if the fees are expected to exceed $100.
- The Township may withhold public records if you have not paid for previous requested records.
The Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law provides restrictions on the dissemination of certain information that may be kept in Township records. In some cases particular information may be redacted from the record. In other cases, access to the entire record may be denied. In all such cases, the requester of the record will be provided an explanation of why the information was redacted or denied.
Members of the public who believe that the denial or redaction was inappropriate may file an appeal to the appropriate appeals officer.
For general appeals the appeals officer is:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Office of Open Records
333 Market Street, 16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2234
Phone: (717) 346-9903
In cases where the record has been denied because it is related to a criminal or civil enforcement action, the appeals officer is:
The Pike County District Attorney
Pike County Administration Building
506 Broad Street
Milford, PA 18337
(570) 296 - 3482