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 (legal review, proprietary information or personal identifying information), only those records that exist in our custody 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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All public records requests for Douglas County Government need to be submitted in writing utilizing our public records request form. We ask that you be as specific as possible with your request. When completing the form, please provide all of your contact information, a detailed description of the documents requested, which County Department you believe retains the records and a very specific timeline. Any additional details or background you can provide about the request is appreciated.
The form is available in person in the Douglas County Public Affairs Office, Room 320 at the Douglas County Courthouse located at 1036 SE Douglas Avenue, Roseburg, Oregon or by downloading the form from our website at https://douglascounty-oregon.us/529/Public-Records-Request. Completed public records request forms must be submitted to the Douglas County Public Affairs Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; in person or by mail to Douglas County PIO, 1036 SE Douglas Avenue, CH Room 320, Roseburg, Oregon 97470. If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Douglas County Public Affairs Office at (541) 957-4896 or (541) 440-4493.
Public records are documents containing information relating to the conduct of a public bodies business to which that agency or government office is the custodian. Not every document requested is considered a public records request. County Departments will let you know if the documents you are requesting need to go through our public records request process. For example, if you are not the homeowner, landowner, complainant, defendant or petitioner of the original documents, then they will be considered public records and there for a public records request is needed. Additionally, if the documents require legal review for copyright, proprietary, confidentiality, privileged information or items exemption from disclosure, then it will be considered public records and there for a public records request is needed. Per Oregon Revised Statutes 192.411, public records requests are documents that include handwritten, typed, photographed, electronic or other records, such as:
Most records are available for public inspection, except those that require review or redaction by legal counsel prior to inspection. All records in our custody remain the property of Douglas County government. Requestors are not allowed to alter, add or remove anything from these records. Requestors may not photograph documents. Allowing the inspection and/or copying of public records in the custody of Douglas County is not meant to waive or restrict any If and when prudent, legal review will need to take place.
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.
Public records requests are processed in the order in which they are received. If the requestor submits more than one public records request, we will process and complete the first request before proceeding with any additional request(s). Per Oregon Revised Statutes 192.329, the County has five business days to initially respond to your request (unless extenuating circumstances exist). Our initial written response will be a confirmation of receipt of your public records request, a notification that we are not the custodians of these records, an explanation of where the records are already publicly available or a request for more information about your request. It will be followed by a ten business day response window, in which we will respond with the documents that are available, a request for submitter to narrow the scope of their request, a proposed timeline for receipt of records and/or an estimate of the cost responsive to their request. We try to be as responsive as possible and make every attempt to close the request in a prompt manner. If there is a fee associated with the request, the requestor has 60 days to pay the fee or the records request will be closed.
Exceptions to the timeline established by ORS 192.324 do not apply to a public body if compliance would be impracticable because:
Per Oregon Revised Statutes 192.324, 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 research, locate and copy them. For inspection requests, it may include the staff time necessary to locate the documents to make them available to you, as well as any required legal review. 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. Therefore, there could be a fee associated with inspection of documents, as well as copies of records either in print or electronically.
Douglas County requires that an estimate of the costs involved in fulfilling your request be paid before any work is performed and before documents are made available to you.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office has their own public records request form and procedure. Please make sure you complete their form if you are asking for documents from the Sheriff's Office. The form is available in person in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Room 210 at the Douglas County Courthouse (Justice Building) located at 1036 SE Douglas Avenue, Roseburg, Oregon or by downloading the form from our website at https://douglascounty-oregon.us/529/Public-Records-Request. Completed public records request forms must be submitted to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office by email at email@example.com; in person or by mail to DCSO at 1036 SE Douglas Avenue, JB Room 320, Roseburg, Oregon 97470. If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4463.
If you are seeking records related to criminal matters, court cases or documents, tickets or citations given to you by a law enforcement officer, or arrest records, you will need to contact the Douglas County Circuit Court, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, or the respective law enforcement agency of record. Douglas County Circuit Court is a function of the State of Oregon, and not the County, so we are not the custodian of those records.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners adopted a policy regarding public records requests on January 25, 2006. To review the policy, click here.