Public Records Request
What is a Public Record?
A Public Record is any document, kept in the course of a normal business day. Section 119.011(11), F.S. defines “public records” as all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, audio recordings, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any public agency. For more information, please see Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual.
Agencies are obligated to respond to public records requests within a reasonable time. The time required to respond to each request varies greatly depending on the scope and size of the request. This process often involves coordinating with several departments to satisfy the request.
Public Records Fees
Charges to Obtain Records
One-sided copies up to 8.5" x 14" will be charged at $0.15 each.
Two-sided copies up to 8.5" x 14" will be charged at $0.20 each.
The Putnam County School District (PCSD) may impose a reasonable service charge for the actual cost of extensive labor and technology required. We must review every email/document for any personally identifiable information that is exempt from public records law. If there is exempt information, it will be redacted.
PCSD charges for requests that consume more than 30 minutes of time to complete. This is at the hourly rate of the lowest-paid employee capable of completing the job.
When multiple requests are made by one individual, they will be considered as one request, and extensive use charges will be applied after the first thirty (30) minutes.
Where do I send my payment to?
Payments must be made by check, money order or exact cash. We do not accept electronic payments for public records requests.
Payment is required before the request will be processed.
Reduced Labor Costs
Narrowing and making your public records request as specific as possible may reduce the extensive labor costs. Narrowing down requests to keywords or phrases instead of open-ended terms such as “any and all records.” Also, narrowing a request to certain individuals or a particular time frame or date range can greatly reduce the use of extensive labor.
Broadly Stated Requests
Sometimes a request is too broad for SDMC to identify records responsive to your request. In such instances, the Public Records Associate may request if it can be clarified or revised to be more specific. If your request is broad and results in a large volume of responsive records, you may be invoiced and assessed costs according to Florida Statutes Chapter 119.
Public records requests will be closed if the requesting party fails to pay the final or good faith deposit invoice or fails to respond to clarification inquiries pertaining to a public records request for thirty (30) days following the issuance of the invoice or clarification inquiry. A non-responsive request may be resubmitted and will be processed as a new request.
What is Not A Public Records Request?
Various types of records are considered exempt and/or confidential and therefore, not available through a public records request. Specific statutory exemptions are contained throughout Florida Statutes. To view these exemptions, please visit www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes.
Florida’s public records law does not obligate agencies to create records. It requires agencies to make available to the public copies of the records it already has. One thing to remember about a public record is that a record must exist in order for it to be provided.
Florida’s public records law obligates agencies to provide copies of public records. It does not require agencies to “explain” records or answer questions based on the records’ content.