Requesters: Keep a Copy of Your Request

When you submit a request under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, it’s very important that you keep a copy of the request. (An electronic copy is fine.)

This is important because if you’re denied access to records and decide to file an appeal with the Office of Open Records, you’ll need to provide four things:

  • A copy of the Right-to-Know request;
  • A copy of the Agency’s response (unless the request was “deemed denied,” meaning the Agency didn’t respond at all);
  • A written statement explaining the grounds on which the requester asserts that the record is a public record; and
  • A written statement addressing any grounds stated by the agency for denying the request.

If the case is appealed beyond the OOR (to a Court of Common Pleas or to Commonwealth Court), the OOR is required to provide a certified copy of the full record, which must include all four of those items.

By the way, the best way to file an appeal with the OOR is to use our Appeal Form, which can be downloaded in PDF or Word format. We’ve designed the form to be as simple and user-friendly as possible.

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