Some agencies have records custodians and regulations that state all open records act requests must be directed to a specific employee called a “records custodian.” Check the website for the agency you are requesting records from to see if they state who to send the request to.
In the sample request, instructions are in bolded green text to indicate where you need to add information. You can copy and paste the text below or download the editable sample GORA request.
RE: Open Records Act Request Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 50-18-70, et seq.
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 50-18-70, et seq., I am requesting that you allow me access to inspect and copy any and all public records, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(b)(2), including but not limited to reports, correspondence, facsimiles, electronic mail, computer records, and any other documents that pertain to the following:
[Insert a description. For example, if a new development being built, the name of the development, name of the developer, location of the development, or any other information that will identify what records you are looking for. Be as specific as you can with regard to what records you are asking for. This will help the agency respond more quickly and make sure you don’t get charged for copies of records that aren’t helpful.]
The records provided should include any and all information pertaining to implementation of the [insert relevant law; for example: Georgia Erosion & Sedimentation Act, the General Construction Discharge Permit] and any other laws, regulations, or ordinances pertaining to [the issues raised by the project or facility; for example, land disturbing activities]. [Provide examples of the documents you want, if possible.] For example, please provide me with the Notice of Intent, the Erosion & Sedimentation Plan, any Notices of Violation, receipts demonstrating that the appropriate fees have been paid, other documents pertaining to compliance with the applicable laws, photographs of the site, inspection reports, and any other documents regarding the operation of this site. [Replace this list with examples of the documents you would like.]
As the Georgia Open Records Act requires, please let me know if search, retrieval, and copying fees are estimated to exceed $25 before those activities are carried out. [Agencies are allowed to charge requesters for the time spent looking for the requested documents and for copies (at 10 cents per page) or for electronic media like CDs. The agency is required to notify you if it estimates costs will exceed $25.]
As I am sure you are aware, Georgia law does not require Open Records Act requests to be in writing. Nevertheless, I have provided this letter to memorialize my request for the above-referenced records.
If for any reason you determine that certain portions of the requested documents or information are exempt from disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act, please delete any such allegedly exempt materials and furnish copies of those portions of the documents that are not exempt. If any documents are withheld or portions deleted, please identify those documents, the substance of such documents/deletions and the grounds for withholding such documents or making such deletions. Consent to such deletions in no way waives any right to appeal any determination that may be made concerning the applicability of any exemptions under the Open Records Act.
By law, you are required to make these records available to me within three business days of this request. O.C.G.A. §§ 50-18-70(f) (specifying that the time for a response shall not “exceed three business days”).
If the requested documents are available electronically, please e-mail them to me at [insert your e-mail address]. If not, please send the requested documents to the following address:
[Insert your address]
Thank you for your assistance and attention to this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need clarification on this request or have a suggestion on how to access the requested records. I can be contacted at [insert your phone number] or [insert your e-mail]. I look forward to hearing from you.