» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and the Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights

Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment

Additional Resources

About Us
Case List
Recent News Alerts
Recent Publications


Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.


Requesting Records from State Governments

The federal Freedom of Information Act does not apply to records held by state and local government officials. However, many states have laws that provide public access to records of state and local government bodies upon requests. Some state laws are very similar to the federal Freedom of Information Act, but many are quite different. The procedures for requesting records from state to state. State laws also have exemption provisions that are slightly different from those under the federal law

The links below provide information on the laws that govern public access to records of state and local government.

Resources for Particular States

California Public Records Act Guide
    hosted by the First Amendment Project
Florida Government in the Sunshine: A Citizen's Guide
    hosted by by The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information
Indiana Public Access Counselor
    Public Access Counselor provides advice and assistance concerning the Indiana's public access laws.
Missouri Sunshine Law: Open Meetings and Open Records
    A chapter of the Missouri Media Law Handbook Media Law Committee, The Missouri Bar 1997.
New York Committee on Open Government
    State Committee responsible for overseeing and advising with regard to the New York Freedom of Information, Open Meetings and Personal Privacy Protection Laws.
Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
    An advisory council in the Virginia legislature established to encourage and facilitate compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

General Guides To State Laws

List of Statutory Citations of State F0I Laws
    by the Freedom of Information Center of the University of Missouri School of Journalism on the Campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
State and National Freedom of Information Resources
    by the National Freedom of Information Coalition, an affiliation of state organizations promoting access to government information.
Tapping Official Secrets
    A guide to using state open government laws for records and meetings by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.