Please note, state agencies and employees are not required to create or compile a public record that does not exist. Alarm registration information. "[5], The law's statement of purpose reads, "The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. There are no restrictions placed on the use of records. Be as specific as your knowledge of the available records will allow. What Laws govern Records Management in North Carolina? Judicial Selection | Keeping records in safe places; copying or repairing; certified copies. Under the North Carolina Public Records Law, G.S. Healthcare | Public Records. [3], A 2007 study, Graded state responsiveness to FOI requests, conducted by BGA and the NFOIC, gave North Carolina 34 points out of a possible 100, a letter grade of "F" and a ranking of 40 out of the 50 states. § 132-1.10. The court records statute requires that all records be open to public inspection, except as prohibited by law. Public pensions | Anyone may request public records in North Carolina. Speakers Bureau The Speakers Bureau is a free, public service provided by the judicial community of North Carolina. State executives | § 132-1.7. Social security numbers and other personal identifying information. Voting in North Carolina | G.S. G.S. School districts in North Carolina | This law focused on the duty of … Public records, as defined in N.C.G.S. Coats v. Sampson County Memorial Hospital, Inc. News & Observer v. Interim Board of Education for Wake County, News and Observer Publishing Co. v. Wake County Hospital System, Proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2011, Proposed reforms in state sunshine laws, 2010, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. [4], A 2002 study, Freedom of Information in the USA, conducted by IRE and BGA, ranked North Carolina's law as the 43rd worst in the country, giving it a letter grade of "D-. explains North Carolina’s Public Records Act and Open Meetings Law. Wills and Estates View the Wills and Estates Help Topic. § 132-1, shall include all settlement documents in any suit, administrative proceeding or arbitration instituted against any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions, as defined in N.C.G.S. The North Carolina Public Records Law allows the public to have access to governmental public records within North Carolina. Sensitive public security information. Largest counties | The North Carolina Public Records Law requires that government agencies preserve public records regardless of physical form, including the digital records created through social media. § 132-8.1. Non-Standing, Interim and Study Committees. North Carolina public agencies are required to provide access to records under the state Public Records Act (Chapter 132 of the North Carolina General Statutes). There are no restrictions on the type of records citizens are allowed to request. § 132-1.20: Reserved for future codification purposes. Federal courts | § 132-1, and a specific statute about court records, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1.8. If the court rules that access was denied improperly, it will order the agency to disclose the records. Criminal investigations; intelligence information records; Innocence Inquiry Commission records. Local measures | North Carolina's Open Meetings Law was originally enacted in 1971. if(document.getElementsByClassName("reference").length==0) if(document.getElementById('Footnotes')!==null) document.getElementById('Footnotes').parentNode.style.display = 'none'; North Carolina elections in 2020 | North Carolina’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws ensure that the public can know what government officials and entities do. 132-1.3A. North Carolina is one of seventeen states that sets no absolute deadline for government agencies to fulfill FOIA requests. The North Carolina Public records law contains no requirements or procedures for administrative appeals in instances where access to public records is denied. Use this page to navigate to all sections within Chapter 132. Section § 132-6 of the NCGS states that a custodian of public records shall make them available \"at reasonable times and under reasonable supervision by any person, and shall, as promptly as possible, furnish copies thereof upon payment of any fees as may be prescribed by law.\" Posted on February 24, 2014 by Jessica Smith ; , , , , , , Are Mug Shots Public Records? See chapter 132, section 1 (b) of the North Carolina General Statute, (N.C. Gen. Largest cities | Limited access to identifying information of minors participating in local government programs and programs funded by the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., or a local partnership in certain localities. § 132-1.4. This book reviews and explains the principal public records statutes applicable to records held by North Carolina local governments and examines the public’s right of access to those records. Private agency, public dollars-North Carolina, List of who can make public record requests by state, States Failing FOI Responsiveness, National Freedom of Information Coalition, October 2007, https://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=North_Carolina_Public_Records_Law&oldid=7832239, Tracking election disputes, lawsuits, and recounts, Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing, Submit a photo, survey, video, conversation, or bio. Law enforcement agency recordings. Confidential communications by legal counsel to public board or agency; State tax information; public enterprise billing information; Address Confidentiality Program information. Social security numbers and medical histories, for example, are excluded. (b) The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. § 132-4. Personally identifiable information of public utility customers. Although the state Attorney General does issue opinions in response to requests made by public officials to interpret the state's public records law and publishes a guide for the general public, the state Law Department plays no specific role in the enforcement of the law. Court of Appeals | Posted on May 22, 2013 by Jeff Welty [], , , ... North Carolina Criminal Law at the School of Government with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If anyone is charged a fee that the requester believes is excessive, the requester may ask the information resource Management Commission to mediate the dispute. Public education | Environment | This is FindLaw's hosted version of North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 132. Destruction of records regulated. § 132-1.3A. § 132-6.2. Superior Courts | Public Records… "[6], Records include all documents, no matter the physical form, "made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency."[7]. § 132-1.18: Reserved for future codification purposes. (A list of records considered confidential are outlined in the law.) We actively prosecute officials who violate the public’s trust. G.S. § 132-6.1. Immigration | A 2008 study, BGA - Alper Integrity Index, conducted by the Better Government Association and sponsored by Alper Services, ranked North Carolina #23 in the nation with an overall percentage of 52.40%. North Caroline use the North Carolina Public Records Act. Under the North Carolina Public Records law, records of government are presumed to be public records unless otherwise protected. § 132-1.3. ... E-mail as a Public Record in North Carolina: A Policy for Its Retention and Disposition. § 132-1.15: Reserved for future codification purposes. This Ballotpedia article is in need of updates. 1 132-1.15 through G.S. § 132-1.3. Elections calendar | Click here to contact our editorial staff, and click here to report an error. An "Automatic Recovery Bill" that would make it mandatory for public agencies to pay the attorney fees of anyone who requests records, is denied, and then files a successful lawsuit to compel disclosure was passed unanimously in 2008 by the, Billing information for any services owned by local governments, Admissions information for state universities, Personal information including social security numbers, Economic developments and incentives planning records, Personal records of minors registered in any Parks and Recreation department. This document is intended to offer guidance to government employees about the management and retention of metadata under North Carolina’s public records laws and state and federal discovery rules for civil litigation. This is a template form for requesting public records in North Carolina. [24], North Carolina law does not permit public bodies to charge search fees for standard requests. | Search the General Statutes. stating that public records are the property of the "the … Email and the Public Records Law. The first statute was passed in 1935. § 132-1.11. § 132-1.7A. Limited access to identifying information of minors participating in local government parks and recreation programs and programs funded by the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., or a local partnership in other localities. The proposed legislation would also create a unit in the state attorney's general office to deal with complaints about government agencies failing to provide documents. G.S. 132-1.22: Reserved for future codification purposes. The law’s broad definition of “public records,” as interpreted by the courts, covers any record, regardless of format, made or received in the transaction of public business. The law explicitly states that public records are open to inspection by "any person. Other Public Records Requests § 132-1.22: Reserved for future codification purposes. Campaign finance requirements | Taxes. State Senate | For more information, view About North Carolina public records law or NCAOC public records policies and procedures. "[21], North Carolina law explicitly states that no individual making a request for records will be required to state a purpose.[22]. ; surveys. The North Carolina Public Records Law is designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in North Carolina. Records include all documents, no matter the physical form, "made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency." Locate contact information for state agencies, employees, hotlines, local offices, and more. § 132-1.17: Reserved for future codification purposes. Under the North Carolina public records law, government records are subject to public access unless an exception says they’re not. The main statutes that define the scope of the law are contained in Chapter 132 of the North Carolina General Statutes (hereinafter G.S.). § 132-1.21: Reserved for future codification purposes. Notable exceptions include but are not limited to: North Carolina law also requires departments to separate exempt and non-exempt material when found in the same source, and release the non-exempt material upon request. Financial regulation | Any citizen is permitted to submit a request to North Carolina. The law indicates that fees for certified copies will be as indicated by law but does not indicate what law. Selection and preservation of records considered essential; making or designation of preservation duplicates; force and effect of duplicates or copies thereof. Back in 1935, the North Carolina Public Records Law was passed by State Legislature. Provisions for copies of public records; fees. Permanent public records that transfer to the State Archives from creating offices are available for research, unless they are considered confidential due to state or federal law or sealed by a court order. § 132-1.19: Reserved for future codification purposes. Campaign finance requirements, Who represents me? Chapter 132 of North Carolina General Statutes (NC Public Records Laws) provide for the preservation and production of public records by the relevant agencies, and regulated access for the public to these records, regardless of physical form. North Carolina law provides a right of access to all court records, both civil and criminal, in both the general public records law, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ballotpedia features 318,783 encyclopedic articles written and curated by our professional staff of editors, writers, and researchers. § 132-8. These laws are commonly known as the “Sunshine Laws” because they shed light on the activi-ties of government. Settlements made by or on behalf of public agencies, public officials, or public employees; public records. The North Carolina Public Records Law is designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in North Carolina. SL 2019-156 ( H620 ) G.S. Stat.) The act states that any information collected by the government that may be of use to the public must be made public, with the exemption of any information that is considered a breach of safety or privacy. Inspection, examination and copies of public records. Economic development incentives. § 132-1.13. Election governance | The University of North Carolina athletic conference communications and other documentary materials; public records. Ballot measure laws | Email can be a public record, if it is made or received by a state employee in connection with State business. Settlements made by or on behalf of public agencies, public officials, or public employees; public records. 2020 legislative session | In July 2009, the North Carolina House of Representatives Finance Committee approved a bill that would reduce a judge's discretion to deny attorney fees to people or media outlets when they win a lawsuit against a local or state government agency in North Carolina that has illegally refused to provide requested records. Attorney General Stein and the Department of Justice help citizens know their rights and responsibilities under the law. State constitution, Courts in North Carolina | 132-6.2. 132-1.3. The State Archives of North Carolina documents the state’s rich history by collecting and providing access to public records of statewide historical value. (a) "Public record" or "public records" shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of … Visit or take a virtual tour of the new exhibit celebrating the Supreme Court at the North Carolina Museum of History through September 2020. The North Carolina Open Meetings Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. If you would like to help our coverage grow, consider donating to Ballotpedia. General Statutes published on this website are not official. The legislature falls under the definition of public body found at North Carolina Law 132-1 and is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law. §132-1., I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of public records that [Describe the records or information sought with enough detail for the public agency to respond. However, if the search is expansive and requires a great deal of staff time, an additional special fee may be charged.[25]. This law focused on the duty of government officials to preserve public records carefully. Records management program administered by Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; establishment of standards, procedures, etc. § 132-8.2. § 132-1.4A. Congressional delegation | Information Governance. Introduction to Public Records Act The North Carolina Public Records Act, N.C.G.S. For un-certified copies, the department may charge only the actual cost of duplication not including the labor involved. § 132-1.1. What's on my ballot? General statute 132 sets out the requirements for the record request process and is the main public records statute. § 132-10. GS 132-1. The University of North Carolina athletic conference communications and other documentary materials; public records. The first statute dealing with public documents in the state was passed in 1935. Click here to contact us for media inquiries, and please donate here to support our continued expansion. (a) Records of criminal investigations conducted by public law enforcement agencies, records of criminal intelligence information compiled by public law enforcement agencies, and records of investigations conducted by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, are not public records as defined by G.S. 132-1.4. Redistricting, List of North Carolina ballot measures | The law applies this requirement to every public office, officer, official, and … Qualified exception for geographical information systems. It expands the coverage of the first edition and its cumulative supplement and also includes developments in the law since 2004. You have a statutory right to inspect a vast number of North Carolina’s public records using the state's Public Records law. Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided by law. Section § 132-6 of the NCGS states that a custodian of public records shall make them available "at reasonable times and under reasonable supervision by any person, and shall, as promptly as possible, furnish copies thereof upon payment of any fees as may be prescribed by law. § 132-6. § 132-6.2(c). North Carolina is one of 17 states that sets no absolute deadline for government agencies to fulfill FOIA requests. This includes state prison inmates, probationers, and parolees. Ballot access for candidates | § 132-3. [19], Agencies include all branches and divisions of government at both the state and local level.[20]. Ballot access for parties | Please email us if you would like to suggest a revision. Regaining custody; civil remedies. Energy | North Carolina’s public records law provides a broad right of access to records of public agencies. North Carolina’s Public Records Law holds that records produced by a law enforcement agency, government agency, or affiliate of a government agency, will be … Many exceptions and other laws … The North Carolina Public Records Law is designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in North Carolina. § 132-1.3A. Prisoner Records Information on persons who have been or currently are incarcerated in the N.C. prison system is available through the N.C. Department of Public Safety offender search. Coats v. Sampson County Memorial Hospital, Inc. established that the North Carolina Public Records Law applies to all private entities that perform governmental functions. Hearsay Exceptions: Public Records & Reports. We do not have any legislation for North Carolina in 2010. § 132-5.1. The latest amendments to this law came in 2005, with the In the event a public records request is denied, the party requesting the record is allowed to file a lawsuit in the North Carolina courts to compel the release of the public records. Declared legal intentions across the U.S. The statute sets out a broad definition for public records, specifying that a record created in connection with public business can then be considered a public record. "[23], North Carolina establishes two different types of records with two different fees. Time limitation on confidentiality of records. We do not have any legislation for North Carolina in 2011. Here is a list of relevant lawsuits in North Carolina (cases are listed alphabetically; to order them by year, please click the icon to the right of the "year" heading). Confidentiality of photographs and video or audio recordings made pursuant to autopsy. § 7A-109(a). § 132-11. § 132-1.11A. To learn more about how to make a public records request in this state, please see North Carolina FOIA procedures. G.S. §§ 132-1 et seq., expresses the policy of the State of North Carolina with respect to public records as set forth in § 132-1(b): The public records compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. § 132-1.12. Metadata as a Public Record in North Carolina: Best Practices Guidelines for Its Retention and Disposition. Please read the caveats for more information. Electronic data-processing and computer databases as public records. House of Representatives | § 132-1.14. North Carolinians are entitled to see any pu… | State legislature | Government employees and elected officials have a responsibility to obey and respect the law, act ethically and conduct their work in an open manner. Supreme Court | Disposition of records at end of official's term. Additionally, information can be exempt from a record request. Electronic lists of subscribers open for inspection but not available for copying. District Courts, Budget and finances | The policy of the state of North Carolina is to allow public access to the activities of government, including public documents, for residents, members of the media and other organizations. § 132-7. § 132-1.16: Reserved for future codification purposes. Assistance by and to Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 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