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D. Are segregable portions of records containing exempt material available?


  • Alaska

    Segregable, non-exempt portions of records containing exempt material are available, unless the disclosable portions cannot reasonably be segregated from nondisclosable portions in a manner that will allow meaningful information to be disclosed. Cf. 2 AAC 96.325(a)(1), - .210(d), - .330. If an electronic file or database contains both non-disclosable and disclosable records, a public agency must either delete or mask the non-disclosable information before releasing the requested record, or write a program to extract the requested disclosable public records from the electronic file or database. Masking or deleting non-disclosable information does not constitute providing an electronic service or product. 2 AAC 96.330(b)(c).

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  • Arkansas

    Yes. Under Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(f)(1), added by Act 1653 of 2001, “[n]o request to inspect, copy, or obtain copies of public records shall be denied on the ground that information exempt from disclosure is commingled with nonexempt information.” Moreover, “[a]ny reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided after deletion of the exempt information.” Id. § 25-19-105(f)(2). The amount of information deleted “shall be indicated on the released portion of the record and, if technically feasible, at the place in the record where the deletion was made.” Id. § 25-19-105(f)(3). All costs incurred in separating exempt from non-exempt information are to be borne by the custodian of the records. Id. § 25-19-105(f)(4).

    With respect to electronic records, any equipment or software acquired by an agency after July 1, 2001, “shall be in full compliance with the requirements of this section and shall not impede public access to records in electronic form.” Id. § 25-19-105(g). This provision was added to prevent agencies from purchasing or leasing computer equipment and software that cannot separate exempt and non-exempt information commingled in databases and other electronic records.

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  • California

    Yes. Government Code Section 6253 (a) provides in part as follows: "Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be available for inspection by any person requesting the record after deletion of the portions that are exempted by law." Cal. Gov't Code § 6253(a); Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training v. Superior Court, 42 Cal.4th 278, 301, 64 Cal. Rptr. 3d 661, 165 P.3d 462 (2007); see also Northern Cal. Police Practices Project v. Craig, 90 Cal. App. 3d 116, 124, 153 Cal. Rptr. 173 (1979). This means that a person requesting a public record should always ask that the agency furnish the non-exempt portions of a record should it also contain exempt, segregable material. The public agency has the duty to segregate unless it is "too onerous" to do so. The agency bears the burden of demonstrating that it is "too onerous" to segregate the exempt material from the non-exempt material. Simply responding that the records requested contain exempt material is not sufficient to relieve the agency of its duty to produce the non-exempt records requested. State Bd. of Equalization v. Superior Court, 10 Cal. App. 4th 1177, 1186, 13 Cal. Rptr. 2d 342 (1992).

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  • Colorado

    1. The presence of exempt information does not prevent inspection. Because the Open Records Act does not expressly exempt from inspection records that contain both exempt and nonexempt information, it does not prohibit inspection of public information in a record otherwise subject to inspection merely because the record also contains exempt information. However, the custodian of the record does not have a duty to delete exempt materials from an otherwise disclosable digitized record. See Sargent School Dist. No. RE-33J v. Western Services Inc., 751 P.2d 56, 61 (Colo. 1988); Office of State Court Administrator v. Background Info. Sys., 994 P.2d 420 (Colo. 1999) (digital records).
    2. However, the Colorado Supreme Court has recognized that a problem may arise whereby an otherwise public record could be rendered inaccessible to public scrutiny by the inclusion of confidential material. See Sargent School Dist. No. RE-33J v. Western Services Inc., 751 P.2d 56, 61 n.5 (Colo. 1988). The Colorado Supreme Court has remanded to the trial court with directions to release redacted records in which purely private information is withheld but information discussing public functions, in the same records, must be disclosed. Denver Publ'g Co. v. Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of Arapahoe Cty., 121 P.3d 190 (Colo. 2005). A custodian should redact "sparingly" to promote the Act's preference for public disclosure, and to "maximize" the flow of information to the public. Freedom Colo. Info., Inc. v. El Paso County Sheriff’s Dep’t, 196 P.3d 892, 900 n.3 (Colo. 2008).
    3. Scope of Exemption. If a statute declares all records or information in a record confidential, there is no "non-confidential" information that can be separately disclosed. Gillies v. Schmidt, supra.
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  • Connecticut

    The Superior Court has held that segregable portions of public records that contain exempt material are disclosable after deletion of the exempt material. Town of Trumbull v. FOIC, 5 Conn. L. Trib. No. 34 (1979); Shedd v. FOIC, 4 Conn. L. Trib. No. 19 (1978).

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  • Delaware

    Agencies may release redacted versions of documents containing nondisclosable material. See Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 88-I028 (Dec. 2, 1988); Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 77-037 (Dec. 28, 1977); Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 77-029 (Sept. 27, 1977). For example, the public may have access to applications filed with the Committee on Message/Bodywork Practices. However, the portion of the application that discloses individual criminal records must be redacted or scrambled. The reasonable cost for such sanitized records, including cost of copying, redacting, masking or scrambling, should be paid by the requester. See Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 94-I010 (Mar. 7, 1994). See also Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 04-ib07 (Mar. 8, 2004) (producing redacted billing statements); Del. Op. Att’y Gen., No. 18-ib22 (May 1, 2018) (wholesale denial of litigation cost records is improper when they can be “de-identified”).

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  • District of Columbia

    Reasonably segregable portions of nonexempt information must be disclosed. D.C. Code Ann. § 2-534(b). See also Washington Post Co. v. Minority Bus. Opportunity Comm'n, 560 A.2d at 522 (applying segregability requirement).

    Interpreting the term "reasonably," the Mayor's office has ruled that the police department need not release 95,000 gun registration records with names and addresses redacted, as required by the Act's privacy exemption, because doing so is "unreasonable." Washington Post Co. v. Metro. Police Dep't, FOIA App. No. 92-5 (Office of the Mayor, Sept. 24, 1995).

    However, when material rendered nondisclosable by the privacy and trade secret exemptions can be redacted through reasonable efforts, the records must be released. Susan J. Clain v. Educ. Licensure Comm'n, FOIA App. No. 93-24 (Office of the Mayor, Oct. 3, 1993) (ordering release of evaluations of two for-profit schools, with unaudited financial statements and certain personnel information redacted).

    When segregable portions of a public record are provided, the justifications for deleting portions of the record must be fully explained in writing. The extent of the deletion must be indicated on the portion of the record that is made available or published, unless including that indication would harm the interest protected by the statutory exemption. When technically feasible, the extent of the deletion and the specific exemptions shall be indicated at the place in the record where the deletion was made. D.C. Code Ann. § 2-534(b).

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  • Georgia

    The Act expressly "directs a narrow construction of its exclusions, exempting 'only that portion of a public record to which an exclusion is directly applicable.'" Board of Regents v. Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 259 Ga. 214, 215-16, 378 S.E.2d 305 (1989) (emphasis in original) quoting what is now O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(g). See also Hardaway Co. v. Rives, 262 Ga. 631, 422 S.E.2d 854 (1992) (same standard applies when non-disclosure is sought based on exemptions found outside the Act).

    It is the agency's duty to disclose all non-exempt portions of a record, O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(a), § 50-18-72(b), and there is authority that an agency may not charge for attorney time spent in doing so. Trammell v. Martin, 200 Ga. App. 435, 408 S.E.2d 477 (1991). If segregating a record's public and non-public portions is impossible, the entire record must be disclosed. Dortch v. Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 261 Ga. 350, 405 S.E.2d 43 (1991) (personal information that is intermingled with information maintained by a public agency is subject to disclosure under the Act).

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  • Hawaii

    Yes. The Director of the OIP "[s]hall adopt rules that set forth the fees and other charges that may be imposed for . . . segregating disclosable records[.]" Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-42(13). The OIP often recommends that agencies disclose records after excising information that might be protected under one of Chapter 92F's exemptions

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  • Idaho

    If a public record contains “mixed” information – that is, some information that is exempted from public disclosure and other information that is not – the act requires that the exempt information be separated from the non-exempt information and the non-exempt material be provided to the requesting person. Idaho Code § 74-112.

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  • Illinois

    When a request is made to inspect or copy a public record that contains information that is exempt from disclosure, but also contains information that is not exempt from disclosure, the public body may choose to redact the information that is exempt. But it must make the remaining information (which does not specifically qualify for an exemption) available for inspection and copying. See 5 ILCS 140/7(1); Carter v. Meek, 322 Ill. App. 3d 266, 750 N.E. 2d 242, 255 Ill. Dec. 661.

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  • Indiana

    Yes. Under Indiana Code Section 5-14-3-6(a), if a public record contains disclosable and non-disclosable information, the public agency must separate the material that may be disclosed and make it available for inspection and copying. See Unincorporated Operating Div. of Indiana Newspapers, Inc. v. Trs. of Indiana Univ., 787 N.E.2d 893, 914–15 (Ind. App. 2003) (Most of a state university’s investigatory materials regarding a controversial basketball coach were protected from public access, but a newspaper could access certain materials after student and deliberative information were redacted); but see Journal Gazette v. Bd. of Trs. of Purdue Univ., 698 N.E.2d 826, 830 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998) (denying access to grievances about alleged NCAA violations).

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  • Iowa

    The statute does not specifically provide for access to the segregable portions of records containing exempt material. Section 22.7(18) does provide that information contained in communications not required by law are public, to the extent the identity of persons outside of government can be protected. See also Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist. Public Records v. Des Moines Register & Tribune Co., 487 N.W.2d 666, 671 (Iowa 1992) ("On remand the court should direct the district to produce redacted copies of any documents produced from an outside source as to which redaction will render its source unknown.").

    In addition, the statute provides that state agencies must adopt rules that describe which agency "records are public records, which are confidential records and which are partially public and partially confidential records." Iowa Code § 22.11(1)(b). Presumably, this requirement is imposed to facilitate access to the segregable portions of otherwise confidential agency records.

    Finally, in addition to this language in chapter 22, there are other, express statutory provisions allowing access to the segregable portions of records containing exempt material. See, e.g., Iowa Code § 246.602(2)(1) ("A record containing information which is both public and confidential which is reasonably segregable shall not be confidential after deletion of the confidential information.").

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  • Kansas

    A public agency shall delete the identifiable portions of the record and make available to the requester any remaining portions which are subject to disclosure pursuant to KORA. K.S.A. 45-221(d).  The agency is not required to disclose portions of records pertaining to a specific individual or such a limited group that the individual identities are reasonably ascertainable.  Id; State ex rel. Stephen v. Harder, 230 Kan. 573, 641 P.2d 366 (1982). (May delete attorneys' Social Security numbers, Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1987-168), (May delete certain tax information and court settlements from financial statements, 1983-49, (May delete confidential information from permanent records of specified crimes, 1982-226); (May delete any victim specific or identifying information from police records involving a sexual assault, 1992-149); (the name, address, phone number, and financial information of a taxpayer contained in real estate appraisal information should be deleted before disclosing any remaining portions, 1994-96).

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  • Kentucky

    Public agencies are required to redact records containing both exempt and non-exempt information: "If any public record contains material which is not excepted under this section, the public agency shall separate the excepted and make the non-excepted material available for examination." Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.878(4); 16-ORD-012; 93-ORD-42 ("Those portions of the records which disclose the identities of the juveniles … may be redacted … insofar as disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy.").

    An agency may not charge a requester for the costs incurred in redacting the material. See 95-ORD-82 (requiring police "to separate excepted material from nonexcepted material" and to "bear the cost of redaction").

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  • Louisiana

    Yes. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44:32(B); 33(A)(l); Association for Rights of Citizens of St. Bernard, 557 So. 2d 714, 716-17 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1990).

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  • Maine

    The Freedom of Access Act itself does not specifically require redaction of records, but certain statutes do.   See, e.g. 10 M.R.S.A. § 975-A (Finance Authority Records).  The Maine Courts have endorsed the use of redaction to allow disclosure of public information contained in a records that also contain some lawfully confidential information.  See Anctil v. Dept. of Corrections, 2017 ME 233, ¶ 6, 175 A.3d 660, 662–63 (Me. 2017); Doyle v. Town of Falmouth, 2014 ME 151, ¶ 9, 106 A.3d 1145 (“When a public record contains information that is not subject to disclosure under FOAA, the information may be redacted to prevent disclosure.”); Guy Gannett Pub. Co. v. Univ. of Maine, 555 A.2d 470, 471-72 (Me. 1989); Cyr v. Madawaska Sch. Dept, 2007 ME 28, ¶ 11, 916 A.2d 967 (holding that school had to release redacted version of its investigative report into the performance of certain employees); Springfield Terminal Ry. Co. v. Department of Transportation, 2000 ME 126, ¶ 11 n. 4 , 754 A.2d 353 (““[W]e have held that protected information can be excised from a document to allow that document to be disclosed . . . .”); Wiggins v. McDevitt, 473 A.2d 420, 422 (Me. 1984) (ordering disclosure of redacted tax return to disclose sheriff deputy’s income from the performance of public services).

    The Maine Court has held that an entire document may be withheld only when redaction “is demonstrated to be truly impractical or onerous.”  Blethen Me. Newspapers, Inc. v. State, 2005 ME 56, ¶ 38, 871 A.2d 523.  Redaction may be truly impractical where public information is “too integrated with confidential information” to make redaction feasible.  MaineToday Media, Inc. v. State, 2013 ME 100, n.11, 82 A.3d 104.  Under this standard, a public agency must always consider disclosure of redacted records.

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  • Maryland

    The fact that some portions of a particular record may be exempt from disclosure does not mean that the entire record may be withheld. Blythe v. State, 161 Md. App. 492, 519, 870 A.2d 1246, cert. granted, 388 Md. 97, 879 A.2d 42 (2005); see also PIA Manual, at 3-43.

    The PIA previously provided for segregation of the part of a public record containing information exempt from disclosure if the non-exempt portion was "reasonably severable." See PIA Manual at 3-44.  Since the 2015 amendments, however, the statute now states that a custodian who denies an application for a public record must “allow inspection of any part of the record that is subject to inspection.” § 4-203(c)(1)(ii). But see Prince George's County v. Washington Post Co., 149 Md. App. 289, 320, 815 A.2d 859, 877 (2003). In instances in which the exempt information is so inextricably intertwined with nonexempt portions, so that its excision would impose significant costs on the agency and the final product would contain very little information, FOIA cases provide that the agency may deny inspection. In such a case, the agency has the burden of showing in a non-conclusory affidavit that the information is not reasonably segregable. Id. However, given the language deleted from the PIA in 2015, it is unclear how persuasive such cases will be on a going-forward basis See PIA Manual, at 3-44.

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  • Michigan

    The FOIA expressly provides for the availability of segregable portions of records containing exempt material: "[i]f a public record contains material which is not exempt under section 13, [Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.243], as well as material which is exempt from disclosure under section 13, the public body shall separate the exempt and nonexempt material and make the nonexempt material available for examination and copying." Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.244(l). The Michigan Supreme Court has strictly enforced this provision, forbidding public bodies from withholding documents without separating exempt from nonexempt material. Evening News Ass'n v. City of Troy, supra, 339 N.W.2d at 436 (1983). Moreover, the FOIA orders public bodies to facilitate the separation of exempt from nonexempt information, "to the extent practicable," when designing public records and, if the separation will be "readily apparent to a person requesting to inspect or receive copies of a form, public bodies are required to "generally describe the material exempted unless that description would reveal the contents of the exempt information and thus, defeat the purpose of the exemption." Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.244(2). The public body may not charge a fee for the cost of separating exempt from non-exempt information, unless failure to do so would result in unreasonably high costs. 2001 Att'y Gen. Op. No. 7083 (2001).  See also Ritzer v. St. Lockport-Fabius-Park Township, 2005 Mich. App. LEXIS 302 (Feb 8. 2005) (public body may have to create a new disc in order to separate nonexempt material from exempt material)

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  • Montana

    The Montana Supreme Court has required district courts to examine records subject to exemption in camera, and has affirmed lower court decisions authorizing disclosure of information with private information redacted.

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  • Nebraska

    Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-712.06 provides, "Any reasonably segregable public portion of a record shall be provided to the public as a public record upon request, after deletion of the portions which may be withheld."

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  • Nevada

    A governmental entity that has legal custody or control of a public book or record shall not deny a request made pursuant to subsection 1 to inspect or copy a public book or record on the basis that the requested public book or record contains information that is confidential if the governmental entity can redact, delete, conceal or separate the confidential information from the information included in the public book or record that is not otherwise confidential. NRS 239.010(3).

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  • New Hampshire

    Yes, see Hawkins v. N.H. Dep't of Health and Human Services, 147 N.H. 376 (2001).

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  • New Jersey

    Yes.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(g) provides:

    If the custodian of a government record asserts that part of a particular record is exempt from public access pursuant to P.L.1963, c. 73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented, the custodian shall delete or excise from a copy of the record that portion which the custodian asserts is exempt from access and shall promptly permit access to the remainder of the record.

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  • New Mexico

    Yes. NMSA 1978 § 14-2-9(A) (2013) provides that a records custodian must separate exempt from non-exempt records and provide the non-exempt information for inspection.  The administrative burden in separating the exempt information from the non-exempt information is not a sufficient reason for failure to make public records available.  Gordon v. Sandoval Cnty. Assessor, 2001-NMCA-44, ¶ 21, 28 P.3d 1114.

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  • North Carolina

    No request for records may be denied “on the grounds that confidential information is commingled with the requested non-confidential information.” All public agencies must bear the expense of separating confidential from non-confidential information. G.S. § 132-6(c)

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  • North Dakota

    Segregable portions of records containing exempt material are available. A public entity may not deny a request for an open record on the ground that the record also contains confidential or closed information. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.10(1). If confidential or closed information is contained in an open record, a public entity must permit inspection and receipt of copies of the information contained in the record that is not confidential or closed, but it must first delete, excise, or otherwise withhold the confidential or closed information. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.10

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  • Ohio

    Yes. Ohio Rev. Code § 149.43(B)(1). (“If a public record contains information that is exempt from the duty to permit public inspection or to copy the public record, the public office or the  person responsible for the public record shall make available all of the information within the public record that is not exempt.”). The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that information that falls within an exception may be redacted and the remainder must be disclosed. State ex rel. Outlet Commc’ns Inc. v. Lancaster Police Dept., 38 Ohio St. 3d 324, 528 N.E.2d 175 (1988). State ex rel. Anderson v. Vermilion, 134 Ohio St. 3d 120, 124, 980 N.E.2d 975, 979, 2012-Ohio-5320, ¶ 15 (after redacting narrative portions of attorney billing statements, non-exempt portions, including the general title, dates, hours, and rates, should have been provided to requester). But see State ex rel. Pietrangelo v. Avon Lake, ¶ 17, 146 Ohio St. 3d 292, 295, 55 N.E.3d 1091, 1094, 2016-Ohio-2974 (denying writ of mandamus compelling city to produce unredacted attorney billing statements and finding that dates, attorney names, hours, and rates were “inextricably intertwined” with privileged information).

    Where the exempt information is so intertwined with nonexempt information that redaction is impracticable, redaction is not required and that portion is exempt from disclosure. State ex rel. Beacon Journal Publishing Co. v. Kent State Univ., 68 Ohio St. 3d 40, 623 N.E.2d 51 (1993); State ex rel. Thompson Newspapers Inc. v. Martin, 47 Ohio St.3d 28, 546 N.E.2d 939 (1989); State ex rel. Polovischak v. Mayfield, 50 Ohio St. 3d 51, 552 N.E.2d 635 (1990).

    A public office is supposed to note specifically those documents that may contain privileged information. State ex rel. Beacon Journal Publishing Company v. Bodiker, 134 Ohio App. 3d 415, 731 N.E. 2d 245 (Ohio App. 10th Dist. 1999).

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  • Oklahoma

    Any reasonably segregable portion of a record containing exempt material shall be provided. 51 O.S. § 24A.5.2.

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  • Oregon

    Under ORS 192.505, the public body must segregate exempt and non-exempt materials and make all non-exempt materials available for examination. This requirement exists even without a specific request.

    Notably, in Oregon Health and Sciences University v. The Oregonian Publishing Co., LLC, the Oregon Court of Appeals concluded that the ORS 192.505 segregation requirement does not apply to exemptions that classify entire records as exempt from disclosure. The Oregon Supreme Court accepted review on this issue but decided the case on alternative grounds, leaving this issue unresolved. See Oregon Health and Science University v. The Oregonian Publishing Co. LLC, 362 Or. 68, 91 n.22 (2017).

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  • Rhode Island

    The APRA requires that reasonably segregable portions of public records after deletion of excluded information must be made available to the public, provided that disclosure of the segregable portion does not violate the intent of the exemptions. R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-3(b). Subject to judicial review, the highest authority of the public body is given authority to make such determination. R.I. Gen. Laws §  38-2-3(b).

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  • South Carolina

    If a public record contains information that is not exempt from public disclosure the body shall separate the exempt and nonexempt material and make the nonexempt material available for inspection or copying. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-40(b). Newberry County Pub. Co. v. Newberry County Com'n. on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 417 S.E.2d 870 (S.C. 1992); Burton v. York County Sheriff, 594 S.E.2d 888 (S.C. App. 2004).

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  • South Dakota

    Yes. SDCL §1-27-1.10.

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  • Tennessee

    The Act does not generally address whether segregable portions of records containing exempt material are available. However, courts have approved of the redaction of confidential information from public records. Eldridge v. Putnam County, 86 S.W.3d 572, 574 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2002). This redaction might be subject to court review. Green v. Metropolitan Gov't of Nashville, 2002 Tenn. App. LEXIS 556 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 30, 2002). In The Tennessean, 979 S.W.3d at 303, the Tennessee Supreme Court noted that if redaction and deletion of confidential information was not require, a records custodian could defeat the purposes of the Act by merely inserting some confidential information in the records. This obligation to delete information is especially true with electronic records where deletion might be simple, although maybe not easy. Hickman v. Board of Probation, 2003 Tenn. App. LEXIS 187 (Tenn. Ct. App. March 4, 2003).

    Moreover, several specific provisions of the Act allow for redaction. T.C.A. §§ 10-7-504(a)(20)(C), (f)(1).  The Schedule of Charges acknowledges the cost of copies includes the cost of making redactions.

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  • Texas

    A governmental body cannot completely withhold public records that contain some exempt information. In Industrial Foundation, for example, the Texas Supreme Court held that only the specific information found to be private and confidential could be withheld. Indus. Found.., 540 S.W.2d  at 686 (Tex. 1976) (“If the nature of a particular claim is held to be confidential, only that information need by withheld from disclosure. As we have already stated, there is nothing intimate or embarrassing about the fact, in and of itself, that an individual has filed a claim for benefits. The claimant’s name may therefore normally be disclosed, as may other information in the claimant’s file which does not itself reveal private facts, even though information concerning the nature of his injury is withheld.”).

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  • Utah

    Under GRAMA, if a requested record contains both information the requester is entitled to inspect and information the requester is not entitled to inspect, a government entity “may deny access to information in the record if the information is exempt from disclosure to the requester.” Utah Code § 63G-2-308(2). This segregation provision is a codification of the rule established in KUTV Inc. v. Utah State Bd. of Educ., 689 P.2d 1357 (Utah 1984), where the Utah Supreme Court held that a state agency had a duty to segregate public from nonpublic information in a requested record. Id. at 1362.

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  • Vermont

    The Public Records Act provides that “[a] public agency shall not withhold any record in its entirety on the basis that it contains some exempt content if the record is otherwise subject to disclosure; instead, the public agency shall redact the information it considers to be exempt and produce the record accompanied by an explanation of the basis for denial of the redacted information.”  1 V.S.A. § 318(e).  Accordingly, an agency may be required to redact non-public information from documents in order to prepare them for production even “complying with the request is difficult or time consuming.”  Herald Ass’n v. Dean, 174 Vt. 350, 359, 816 A.2d 469, 477 (Vt. 2002).

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  • Virginia

    Yes, the Act states that no record may be withheld in its entirety on the ground that some portion of the record is excluded from disclosure under the Act or exempted under any other provision of law.  All portions of a record not subject to withholding under the law must be produced.  Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704.01. This provision was enacted in 2016 to correct the Supreme Court of Virginia’s decision in Department of Corrections v. Surovell, 290 Va. 255, 776 S.E.2d 579 (2015), which, contrary to the Act’s plain language, indicated that redaction of certain records was not required.

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  • Washington

    The statutory exemptions are inapplicable to material that can be segregated from otherwise protected information. RCW 42.56.210(2).

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  • West Virginia

    Where a document contains a segregable combination of exempt and nonexempt material, the nonexempt portion should be disclosed. An example of this approach is found in Child Protection Group v. Cline, where the court held that information falling within the personal privacy exemption could be redacted and the document disclosed:

    To release or not to release is not an "all or nothing" decision under the Freedom of Information Act where personal material is concerned. The courts have consistently taken steps such as the deletion of certain personal data from the documents to be released so as to protect the privacy interests of individuals involved. Trial courts should be encouraged to take innovative measures to limit the invasion of individual privacy whenever disclosure is required.

    Child Protection Group v Cline, 350 S.E.2d at 545 (1986) (citations omitted). The court has also held that, "[t]o the extent that segregable, factual data may be extracted, that information should be disclosed." Daily Gazette v. W. Va. Development Office, 198 W. Va. 563, 573, 482 S.E.2d 180, 190 (1996).

    Consistent with its prior holdings, the court in Farley v. Worley, 215 W. Va. 412, 599 S.E.2d 835 (2004) held that a public body must redact or otherwise segregate from documents exempt information and disclose nonexempt material:

    [A] public body has a duty to redact or segregate exempt from non-exempt information contained within the public record(s) responsive to the FOIA request and to disclose the nonexempt information unless such segregation or redaction would impose an unreasonably high burden or expense.

    Farley cautions that "a public body cannot simply state in a conclusory or cursory manner that redaction would be unreasonably burdensome or costly." 215 W. Va. at 423, 599 S.E.2d 846. When a public body withholds information for such reasons it "must provide the requesting party a written response that is sufficiently detailed to justify refusal to honor the FOIA request on these grounds." However, the written justification need not be so detailed as to "compromise the secret nature of the exempt information." Syl. Pt. 9, Highland Mining Co. v. West Virginia University School of Medicine, 235 W. Va. 370, 774 S.E.2d 36, 47 (2015).

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  • Wyoming

    Exempt material may be segregated or the records may be structured to provide the information the public is entitled to have. Sheridan Newspapers Inc. v. City of Sheridan, 660 P.2d at 797; Allsop v. Cheyenne Newspapers, 2002 Wyo. 22, 39 P.3d 1092 (2002).

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