There is no particular format prescribed by the statute; the pleading format should simply take the form of a civil complaint filed in that court. See Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/1-101 to 22-105, and allege a request, an improper denial. The prayer for relief should include a request for attorneys’ fees and costs. If the requester believes that the public body acted in bad faith in denying access to the records, a request for civil penalties may be added. 5 ILCS 140/11.
There is no prescribed format for pleadings — a simple complaint will do — in the appeal to superior court from the agency head. The filing fee at the trial level is not dispensed with, but service costs are minimal as Vermont has now adopted the federal "service by mail" procedures. Costs can be recovered if the requester prevails.
Pleading forms are governed by Rule 10 of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure. Pleading captions must include the names of the parties, the title of the action, the court and case number. The pleadings must be signed, and copies served on all other parties or their counsel.
A suit to obtain access to records is styled with the party seeking access as the plaintiff and the public agency and/or the record custodian as the defendant. It is captioned "Complaint in lieu of Prerogative Writs." See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-4; Rule 4:69. A complaint to the Government Records Council merely must be a writing alleging that a custodian has improperly denied access. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-7(d).
The early records access cases in Alabama proceeded on petition for writ of mandamus. See, e.g., Brewer v. Watson [Brewer II], 65 Ala. 88, 96 (1880) (pre-Public Records Law case; "mandamus will lie to compel inspection" of public records); Holcombe v. State ex rel. Chandler, 240 Ala. 590, 200 So.