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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Open Records Guide

What Records Are Available?

Most records maintained by public entities are open for inspection and/or copying by individuals. Commonly requested records include: 
-  The front page of offense reports: They include the date; time; nature of an offense; and the identity of who reported the offense.
-  Motor vehicle accident reports: They usually are four page reports that identify the drivers; passengers; vehicles; date and time of an accident. A description of what occurred and factors related to the accident are also included.
-  Jail booking information: The identities of persons booked into the county jail; the date and time of booking; their charges; and bond information.


The Kansas Open Records Act recognizes that some records contain information which is private in nature. For this reason the Act lists a number of exceptions. Records that are protected for this reason may include:
-  Personnel information of public employees
-  Medical treatment records
-  Records that are protected by the attorney-client privilege or the rules of evidence
-  Records containing personnel information
-  Notes and preliminary drafts
-  Criminal investigative reports
-  Several other specific records.  For a complete listing of exemptions please see K.S.A. 45-221

How To Request A Record:

Step One:  Check with the Sheriff's Office Records Custodian\Freedom of Information Officer to determine whether the information you need is available, if you are uncertain. Please remember to be specific when requesting information so the records custodian will be able to serve you better.
Step Two: Submit this request for information. Make sure your request is as specific as possible so your request may be filled quickly and completely. The records custodian may ask detailed questions in order to fulfill your request accurately. Be certain to include a phone number that we can use to reach you during the business day.
Step Three: Most records will be produced within a maximum of three business days from the time the request is received. If the request is delayed or denied, a written explanation will be provided for the delay or denial.
Step Four: If you have any questions about your request, contact the Sheriff’s Office Sheriff's Office Records Custodian\Freedom of Information Officer.

The Kansas Open Records Act authorizes agencies to charge fees for providing access to or furnishing copies of public records. The fee may be requested in advance and may include:
-  The cost of staff time required to make the information available.
-  The cost of copying or reproducing the record.  The fee schedule is on file with the Records Custodian. You will be notified in advance of fees that will be incurred to produce your requested information.

Why Would A Records Request Be Denied?
Although every attempt will be made to provide the information requested, it is not always possible to fulfill the request. There are a number of reasons that a request may be denied:
-  The specific record requested does not exist. The request was unclear and should be resubmitted with more detail.
-  The record requested is closed to protect an important privacy interest (see the list of exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act – K.S.A. 45-211)

Open Records Request Form