There are numerous exceptions to the public records laws which allow a public body to refuse to disclose public records. Per Oregon Revised Statutes 192.311 to 192.479, public bodies are required to make available for inspection and copying, subject to any applicable exemptions, only those records that exist at the time of the request. If the County denies your request to review the public record(s), a written explanation of the reason for denial will be forwarded to you by the custodian within a reasonable amount of time.
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Public records are writings containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business. Per Oregon Revised Statutes 192.411, writings include handwritten, typed, photographed, electronic or otherwise:
Most records are available for public inspection but are Douglas County property. Nothing can be altered, added or removed from these records. Photographing documents is not permitted. Allowing the inspection and/or copying of public records in the custody of Douglas County is not meant to waive or restrict any copyright, proprietary, confidentiality, privilege, exemption from disclosure, or other rights in said documents.
While you are free to ask any questions that you may have, please keep in mind that public bodies are not required to explain or answer questions about their public records, nor are they required to create public records where none exist.
The County may need five business days to initially respond to your request. Our initial response may be a notification that the documents are available, a request for more information about your request, or an estimate of the cost of responding to your request.
Douglas County is entitled to recover its actual costs incurred in fulfilling your request. For copies of public documents, this may include both the cost of photocopying the documents and the staff time necessary to locate and copy them. For inspection requests, it may include the staff time necessary to locate the documents and make them available to you. County documents come in a variety of sizes and may be retained in either paper or electronic format. Therefore, the cost of filling your request will depend on the type of document that you ask to inspect or copy.
Douglas County may require that an estimate of the costs involved in fulfilling your request be prepaid before any work is performed in completing your request.
If the Department fulfilling your request does not require you to pay the costs in advance, the cost will be due before the documents are made available to you.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has their own public records request form. Please make sure you complete their form if you are asking for documents from the Sheriff's Office.
Remit the completed DCSO form to DCSOinfo@co.douglas.or.us