Public Records Request Information
What is a Public Records Request?
A Public Records Request may be made by any person eighteen (18) years of age or older for a public record. The requestor may inspect, copy, reproduce, or obtain a copy or reproduction of a public record produced by, or in the possession of, the public entity. The right to make such a request is granted by the State of Louisiana through the Louisiana Public Records Law, La. Rev. Stat. 44:1- 41, and Article 3, Section 3 of the Louisiana State Constitution. Public Records Requests must ask for a record. Public Records Requests are not designed to simply answer a question posed by the requestor.
How do I make a Public Records Request to St. Tammany Parish Government?
To make a Public Records Request to St. Tammany Parish Government, complete a Public Records Request form. Then, submit the completed request form in one of the following ways:
- Via Fax: (985) 867-5124
- Via U.S. Postal Service Mail: P.O. Box 628 Covington, LA 70434
*** Please note that information submitted to a public body, such as St. Tammany Parish Government, may become public record pursuant to the provisions of the Louisiana Public Records Law, located at La. Rev. Stat. 44:1, et seq.***
What happens after I submit my request?
After you submit your request it is reviewed by the Civil Division and acknowledged through a letter. The initial letter does the following:
- The Legal Department will acknowledge the request with an initial letter, which signals the beginning of the fulfillment process.
- The initial letter general exceptions, exclusions, or limitations to the Public Records Law (documents that are not considered public records or are excepted from the law and cannot be available to the requestor).
- The initial letter will then describe the process as it pertains to the acknowledged request, and lay out costs that the requestor may incur, and provide an estimate of the time reasonably necessary to fulfill the request.
How long will the request take to be fulfilled?
By law, a Public Records Request must be completed within a reasonable amount of time. Factors that determine reasonableness include the breadth and scope of the request, whether multiple departments of the Parish’s nineteen (19) departments must respond, and whether an Information Technology search is conducted.
Where can I read about the Public Records Request Law?
You can read the full text of the law on the website of the State Legislature, here. You can also read more on the Louisiana Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General's website: here.
Public Records Request Fulfillment Cost
- The cost of a Public Records Request depends upon the size and scope of the request. St. Tammany Parish Government may charge and collect reasonable fees to make a reproduction of public records for the requestor. There is no fee if the requestor comes in to view, copy, or reproduce public records by their own means.
- The average cost of fulfilling a single Public Records Request to St. Tammany Parish Government varies greatly depending upon the manner in which the records are stored.
- The average number of employees needed to fulfill a Public Records Request: 10
- The number of Public Records Requests received in 2015: Three hundred and twenty-seven (327). Of those, one hundred and eleven (111) were sent to multiple departments.