Accessibility Statement

Public Records Information

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Louisiana Public Records Act
La. R.S. 44:1-41
Louisiana Constitution: Article XII, Sec. 3

The Louisiana Public Records Act, La. R.S. 44:1-41, and Article XII, Section 3 of the Louisiana Constitution grants any person a right to examine and copy public documents in the possession of the state and its political subdivisions.

WHO CAN REQUEST PUBLIC RECORDS?
In Louisiana, any person may inspect, copy, reproduce or obtain a copy of any public record.  La. R.S. 44:32.  The purpose for the document request is immaterial, and an agency or record custodian may not inquire as to the reason, except to justify a fee waiver.

The custodian of the records must provide a reasonably comfortable place for the requesting person to review the records.  The custodian may prevent any alteration of the record being examined, but the custodian cannot review anything in the requesting person's possession (including notes).

WHAT ARE PUBLIC RECORDS UNDER THE ACT?
In Louisiana, a "public record" includes books, records, writings, letters, memos, microfilm, and photographs, including copies and other reproductions.  To be "public," the record must have been used, prepared, possessed, or retained for use in connection with a function performed under authority of the Louisiana Constitution, a state law, or an ordinance, regulation, mandate, or order of a public body.  This definition covers virtually every kind of record kept by a state or local governmental body.  La. R.S. 44:1(A)(1).

HOW TO MAKE A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST
A request to review or copy a public record should be made to the custodian of the records.  The custodian is the public official or head of any public body having custody or control of the public record, or a representative authorized to respond to requests to inspect public records.

You may make an oral request to inspect a public record. At that time, the public record must be immediately presented to you, unless the record is not immediately available or is being actively used at the time.

If the public record is not immediately available, the custodian must promptly notify you in writing of the reason why the record is not immediately available and fix a day and hour within three days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) when the records will be made available.

 

Please click here to print the Request for Public Records Form.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this service, please contact Holly Talbert.

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Lake Charles, LA 70601
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