Government Records Rhode Island: Where to Obtain Government Records for the State of Rhode Island?
In a single sentence, the answer to the above question is - 82 Smith Street, Room 3 Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Obtaining the government records for the state of Rhode Island has become very easy as the Rhode Island General Assembly has created a step by step procedure in order to help the citizens for accessing the records.A) As an applicant, you must know this that the contact person for the public records request is the JCLS – Executive Director. You may contact him/her by writing an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you may call him/her on 401-222-6533. The JCLS department’s business hours are between 09:00 AM to 4:30 PM from Monday to Friday.
B) For applying for the records, you will need to visit Rhode Island State House and go to Room number 3. You can ask for a “Request to Inspect and/or Copy Public Records” form from the person present over there. This form would ask you certain details like
- Name of the requestor.
- Name of business or organization.
- Street address.
- City, state & zip code.
- Telephone number
- Fax number
- E-mail address
In the lower half of the application form, you would be needed to mention the details of the records that you wish to access. You may add a separate sheet if your request exceeds the space provided in the application form. Please make note of the fact that if this is not the first time that a requestor is applying for certain records, please make sure that you mention this fact along with the follow-up question.
Then you need to mention your preference regarding the format.
You may directly pick up a copy of the records when they are ready, or you may opt for a fax or choose the email option for receiving the records.
C) Please note that it is not mandatory to disclose the reason pertaining to why you wish to access certain records. However, for certain records, you may be charged copying costs as per the number of pages ($0.15 per page to be precise). Additionally, you may be required to pay a search and retrieval cost which should be no more than $15 per hour after the first hour of retrieval gets over. For your convenience, you would be provided an estimate of the total cost in advance before the concerned officials start working on your application.
However, you need to understand that not all records can be accessed by the general public and residents. To understand which records can be accessed by you under the applicable laws regarding the open government, you may refer to a copy of “The Attorney General’s Guide to Open Government in Rhode Island”D) It may happen that the records that you have requested for your access might not be immediately available with them. Please make note of the fact that under the Access to Public Records Act (APRA), a public body has been allowed for a duration of ten working days for responding to a request. The duration may be increased to an additional twenty working days, provided, there is a good reason to do so for the sake of retrieval of records.
It may happen that you had requested access to a particular set of records, that is well within your right, yet you have been denied access unfairly. In such cases, the requestor reserves a right to file a review petition with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office. Still, if the requestor is not satisfied with the attorney general’s offices’ response, he/she is free to file an action in the superior court.
Important – It is hereby advised to the requestor that they should be extra careful while providing the details in the “Request to Inspect and/or Copy Public Records” form so that there is no miscommunication which may delay the entire process of receiving the records for the perusal of the requestor.
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