Documents created by public agencies in the course of their operations are considered public records under Oregon law. ORS 192.410(4). State law provides a procedure for citizens and record custodians to follow when requesting or responding to a request for inspection and examination of records. ORS 192.410 to 192.505.
If you wish to examine records of a public agency, then you should make that request directly to that agency.
Some government records cannot be reviewed by the public, usually because they contain some type of protected or private information. A citizen has a right under Oregon law to request access to public records, and a public agency has an obligation to provide those records to the public upon request, unless the requested records contain protected information. ORS 192.430(2). There may be a small fee for access or copying of public records. ORS 192.440(4).
A citizen has a right under Oregon law to request access to public records.
Appealing a Denied Request
If you have been denied access to public records and wish to appeal that determination, you should obtain a written denial of your request from the appropriate public agency and then contact the DA’s Office. We will then make a determination as to whether the public agency appropriately applied the law in denying your request. If it is determined that the public agency improperly denied your request for access, then the public agency will be ordered to release the records.
Public Records Petitions
The Public Records Law mandates that the County District Attorney has jurisdiction over petitions for review involving requests to a local government body such as a city, county, or School District. The public agency that denies a records inspection request (or waiver of fees) has the burden of proving that the record information is exempt from disclosure or that the costs are reasonable and in the public interest.
Selected orders of the District Attorney are listed below under the most significant statutory exemption(s). Each exemption is organized by the latest order first with the name of the petitioner, the number of the order, and a brief description of the documents requested.
The Multnomah County District Attorney is committed to the principle that the Public Records Law is primarily a disclosure law, rather than a confidentiality law.
For more information on your rights under the public records law, please go to the Oregon Attorney General’s website.