A record includes any information or document “regardless of physical form or characteristics” and includes information “stored or maintained electronically.” So long as an e-mail satisfies the Open Records Law’s definition, the law requires access.

However, local governments are interpreting the changes to the law that went into effect in 2009 as applying only to e-mail messages that are stored on government computer servers. Some local governments do not maintain e-mail messages for any length of time on servers, or only have forwarding services that send e-mail automatically to an official’s private account. In such cases, those e-mail messages have not been accessible in response to open records requests.