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Township Right-To-Know Form Not Official

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Township Right-To-Know Form Not Official

Postby Sal » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:40 pm

Newton Township’s Right-To-Know form lacks instructions and important notices advising the requester of their rights and is clearly not the standard form.  

Click here to see the townships request form  
Click here to see or use the official request form
The official form is already addressed to Newton change that for other agency.

An attorney from the Office of Open Records grabbed a copy of the form from the Township’s website and said “that is not our form” and suggested that if the Township is requiring people to submit a form then people should use the official form as all agencies are required to accept it.

The Right-To-Know Law does not require people to fill out a form or to sign for received records.  If you want to see or get a copy of a public record, all you need to do is ask for it.  

However, if the agency refuses to give you the record then you must make the request in writing and retain a copy of the request.  Otherwise, you cannot file an appeal.  The request can be a simple letter but it may be best to use the State’s official form.

Once you make the request, the burden and extra work shifts to agency, as it should, for not making the record available in the first place.  You are not required to do anything.  Just sit back and get your appeal ready.

If you do not receive the record or a response within 5 business days, that is an automatic denial and you should immediately file an appeal with the Office of Open Records.  You have 15 business days to file an appeal.

Keep in mind that not all records are open to the public.  Everything you need to know about the law is available here http://openrecords.state.pa.us  

Have any questions?  This topic is open for discussion.
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