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My public records requests are being stonewalled. What can I do?

Las Vegas, NV |

I submitted public records requests to local agencies seeking technical information and was ignored for weeks. It took several follow-ups for them to even acknowledge the request, and one has finally said it'll take another 30 days to figure out whether there are any records responsive to my request. I thought the law said they had five days to send me a reply, but what if they take five weeks instead?

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Attorney answers 3


You might want to check with your state Attorney General's Office to see if they have a protocol or division handling similar complaints. Save all correspondence. Put requests into writing, and put a date on all items sent and received. Send important documents with some sort of tracking on them. Being persistent will be important, but almost as important: be polite and respectful at all times.


I recommend you contact the ACLU. Their information is at the link below. Good luck with this.

This is not a substitute for a consultation with an attorney with a background in government records practices.


Most state and federal agencies and departments have mechanisms to address issues related to record requests. You should be able to search the agencies' websites for specifics on seeking the assistance of an ombudsman or other form of advocate who can assist with the process. Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.

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