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1. Time limit

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  • Alaska

    The state regulations provide that you may appeal the denial, in whole or in part, of your request made to state agencies for public records, or may ask for reconsideration of that denial, by addressing a written appeal to the agency head. It is important to note, however, that this is not a situation where you have some legal obligation to "exhaust your administrative remedies." The law specifically acknowledges your right to obtain immediate judicial review of a denial of public records by seeking injunctive relief from the superior court, pursuant to AS 40.25.125, and the state administrative regulations underscore that an election not to pursue injunctive remedies in the superior court shall have no adverse effects on the requester before a public agency. A request for reconsideration is made by submitting a written appeal to the agency head within 60 working days after the denial is issued. This appeal to the agency head must include the date of the denial and the name and address of the person issuing the denial, and must identify the records to which access was denied and which are the subject of the appeal. If the appeal is based on the failure of the agency to respond within the appropriate time limits set out under state regulations, the appeal must say so, and in addition to identifying the records sought, must identify the public agency to which the request was directed and the date of the request. If no denial was issued, the date for an appeal to the agency head begins to run on the expiration of the time period within which the public agency should have responded. 2 AAC 96.340. The appeal must be mailed or hand-delivered to the agency head within 60 days after the denial is issued. 2 AAC 96.340(b).

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Arkansas

    There is no time limit set out in the statute. Instead, a citizen “may appeal immediately from the denial.” Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-107(a). Accordingly, the general five-year statute of limitations applies. See Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-115.

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  • Connecticut

    The notice of appeal must be filed within thirty days of the denial, and the notice of appeal is deemed filed on the date it is received by the FOIC or on the date it is postmarked, if received more than thirty days after the date of the denial. Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-206(b).

    In West Hartford v. FOIC, 218 Conn. 256, 588 A.2d 1368 (1991), the Supreme Court held that one who received written denial of a request for documents may appeal to the FOIC within 30 days of the written denial even though more than 30 days had elapsed since the fourth day after the date the request had been made. The court also held that FOIA does not bar successive requests or successive denials for public records and that there is no requirement that the appeal to the FOIC be taken from the first denial. See also Mayor v. FOIC, No. CV 01-0511803S, 2002 WL 523086 (Conn. Super. Mar. 19, 2002) (holding that an agency may not defend its decision to ignore a request on the grounds that the request was made simply for the purposes of harassing the agency).

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  • Delaware

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • District of Columbia

    After receiving a formal denial, or a denial by operation of the fact that no determination is made within the statutory time period, a requester may appeal the decision to the Mayor. D.C. Code Ann. § 2-537(a).

    Note: The Secretary of the District of Columbia has been delegated the authority vested in the Mayor to render final decisions on appeals under the D.C. FOIA.

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  • Georgia

    The Act does not require or otherwise provide for administrative appeals.

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  • Hawaii

    An appeal must be filed with the Director of the OIP within one year after one of the following events:

    Receipt of the agency’s written denial of access; or

    Receipt of the agency’s written partial denial of access; or

    In the absence of a written response to the request, the last day of the time period provided for the agency’s written response under the Haw. Rev. Stat. ch. 92F and Haw. Code R. ch. 2-71.

    Haw. Code R. §2-73-12.

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  • Idaho

    Not applicable.

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  • Illinois

    A person who was denied access to public records, by a public body other than the General Assembly and its committees, commissions and agencies, may file a request for review not later than 60 days after the date of the final denial.  See 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a).

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  • Indiana

    A complaint to the Public Access Counselor must be filed within 30 days of the denial of access. Ind. Code § 5-14-5-7.

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  • Iowa

    The time limit for seeking judicial review of agency action is thirty days. Iowa Code § 17A.19(3). In the alternative, a party may seek rehearing before the agency pursuant to Iowa Code § 17A.16(2). The application for rehearing must be filed within twenty days of the agency's final decision. Id. Judicial review of a refusal to allow rehearing must be sought within thirty days of the date on which the application is denied or deemed denied. Iowa Code § 17A.19(3).

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  • Kansas

    There are no provisions for appeal. A requester may proceed directly to the district court.

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  • Kentucky

    The Open Records Act contains no specific time limit for a requester to appeal the public agency's denial of a records request. The Kentucky Supreme Court has held that the 30-day deadline applicable to administrative appeals is not applicable to open records requests, though “a reviewing court could require that the request be filed within a reasonable time under the circumstances of a case.” Dept. of Revenue v. Wyrick, 323 S.W.3d 710, at 713 (Ky. 2010). In Wyrick, the Court held that a request for review made 34 days after a denial was timely. Id.

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  • Maine

    The Act does not provide for administrative appeal.

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  • Maryland

    There is no specific time frame within which an applicant or custodian must appeal to the Public Access Ombudsman. However, a complaint to the State Public Information Act Compliance Board should and be filed within 90 days of the action taken by the custodian. § 4-1A-05(b).

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  • Michigan

    A requesting party may within 180 days of a public body’s final determination initiate an action in circuit court to compel the public body’s disclosure of the public records.  Mich. Comp. Laws 15.240(1)(b).

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  • Montana

    There are no administrative appeal requirements. The individual requesting the document may go directly to district court to obtain relief under the statute and the constitutional provision listed above.

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  • New Jersey

    The time limit for filing an action to obtain records from a public agency or official is 45 days from the date of denial. However, another request for the same records can be made at any time by another party, thereby triggering a new 45-day time limit for filing suit. See Shuttleworth v. City of Camden, supra. It is not clear whether a complaint to the Government Records Council will also be subject to the 45-day limit although it is likely that will be the case.

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  • North Carolina

    No specific statute of limitations appears in the Public records law; the Public records law is not included in the general statutes relating to limitation; and no case has addressed the time limits of bringing suit. An argument could be made that the statute is three years, G.S. § 1-52(2) or that the general “all other actions” limitation of ten years applies. Any arguable statute of limitations problem could be fixed by a repeat of the public records request.

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  • North Dakota

    A request to review a denial of a request for records must be made within thirty days of the alleged violation. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-21.1.

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  • Oklahoma

    Not applicable.

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  • Oregon

    Generally, the Attorney General or the district attorney must rule on the appeal petition within seven days of receipt. However, with respect to health professional regulatory boards, the Attorney General takes the position that the statutes allow fifteen days to respond where an affected licensee/applicant has the right to respond to the petition. See Attorney General Manual, § I.G.1.c. If no decision is rendered within the statutory time limit, the petition is deemed denied and the requester may begin court proceedings. If the Attorney General or district attorney grants the petition in whole or in part, the public body must comply with the order within seven days after its issuance unless within that period it issues a notice of its intention to institute court proceedings testing the order of the Attorney General or district attorney. ORS 192.411(2); ORS 192.415 (formerly ORS 192.450; 192.460). In the case of state agencies, such proceedings are filed in Marion County Circuit Court where the state capital is located. In the case of a district attorney order, such proceedings are instituted in the county in which the public body has its legal jurisdiction.

    If a state agency does not comply with the Attorney General’s order requiring disclosure and does not issue notice of intention to institute proceedings within the seven-day period or does not, in fact, institute such proceedings within a subsequent seven days, the requester is entitled to recover costs of suit and reasonable attorney fees in the event of litigation over disclosure of the records, regardless of whether the requester is successful in such a court proceeding. ORS 192.431(3) (former ORS 192.490(3)).

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  • Rhode Island

    The chief administrative officer shall make a final determination whether or not to allow public inspection within ten (10) business days after the submission of the review petition. R.I. Gen. Laws §  38-2-8(a).

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  • South Carolina

    Not applicable in South Carolina.

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  • South Dakota

    Within ninety days of denial. SDCL §1-27-38.

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  • Utah

    A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the access determination. See Utah Code § 63G-2-401.

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  • Vermont

    There is no stated time limit for appealing an “adverse determination” by a custodian to the agency head. On appeal to the head of the agency, he or she has five business days to issue a decision. 1 V.S.A. § 318(c)(1).  The five-day appeal response period may be extended up to ten working days by written certification that one (or more) of three “unusual circumstances” exist: (1) need to search or collect records from field offices; (2) need to search or collect voluminous records; or (3) need to consult with another agency. See 12 V.S.A. § 318(b)(5).

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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