How to File a Request

The first thing to do before filing a RTK request is to determine which Commonwealth or local agency is most likely to have the records you want. Next, determine who the Open Records Officer is (each agency is required to have one). More tips for filing effective RTK requests are available right here on our website.

How to File an Appeal

All appeals must be made in writing and must be submitted to the Office of Open Records within 15 business days from the mailing date of the Agency's response or the date that the request was deemed denied. If that timeframe expires before you provide the required information to the OOR, you lose your right to appeal and may need to file a new RTK request with the Agency.

Regulations Under Development

The Office of Open Records ("OOR") is in the process of promulgating procedural regulations as authorized by Section 504(a) of the Right-to-Know Law ("RTKL"). Through these regulations, the OOR intends to provide greater clarity of the requirements of both agencies and requesters.

Sunshine Act

The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 701-716, requires agencies to deliberate and take official action on agency business in an open and public meeting. It requires that meetings have prior notice, and that the public can attend, participate, and comment before an agency takes that official action.

Training

The Office of Open Records ("OOR") conducts training on the Right-to-Know Law ("RTKL") at the request of groups that wish to learn about the application of the RTKL, including those seeking records and agencies responding to those requests. In addition, the OOR will often partner with various organizations or associations (such as the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania State Associations of Township Supervisors, or the Pennsylvania State Associations of Boroughs) to provide a presenter or panelist.



Find an AORO

Look up a specific Agency Open Records Officer, or register a new Officer.

Email Subscriptions

Subscribe to our newsletter or daily Final Determination updates.


First-Ever Survey of AOROs

4 January 2018

The vast majority of government agencies in Pennsylvania — 87.4% — received 1 or fewer Right-to-Know (RTK) requests per week in 2016. Similarly, 72.8% of agencies spent 1 hour or less per week (and 91.8% spent 5 hours or less) responding to RTK requests in 2016. Those are some of the highlights from the first-ever … Continue reading First-Ever Survey of AOROs


Three Recent Home Address Cases

27 December 2017

Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued one decision and the Commonwealth Court issued two decisions addressing issues related to home addresses, the Right-to-Know Law, and the right to privacy found in Article I, Section 1, of the Pennsylvania Constitution. In chronological order, the decisions are: Butler Area School District v. Pennsylvanians for Union Reform … Continue reading Three Recent Home Address Cases


PA Supreme Court: District Attorneys Not Judicial Agencies

28 November 2017

On November 22, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that District Attorneys are not judicial agencies under the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). In the majority opinion in the case of Stacy Parks Miller v. Centre County, authored by Justice Wecht, the Supreme Court held that: “Examination of the RTKL, the definitional section of the Judicial Code, … Continue reading PA Supreme Court: District Attorneys Not Judicial Agencies


Requesting Police Video and Audio in Pennsylvania

2 November 2017

Act 22 of 2017 (specifically, Chapter 67A of the Act) now governs the process of requesting audio and video recordings in the possession of law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania. We’ve added a page to the Office of Open Records website which covers the topic in some detail (although it’s always a good idea to review … Continue reading Requesting Police Video and Audio in Pennsylvania


OOR – 2017 Annual Training

1 November 2017

On October 23, the Office of Open Records held its annual training session in Harrisburg. The session included presentations by Erik Arneson, executive director; Charles Brown, chief counsel; Delene Lantz, general counsel; and George Spiess, director of training and outreach. This year, for the first time, the training was available via webinar. We’ve also uploaded … Continue reading OOR – 2017 Annual Training


Presentation to PASBO

31 October 2017

On October 20, I took part in a webinar hosted by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO). We discussed a number of issues related to the Right-to-Know Law and the Office of Open Records. I was joined on the webinar by Clarence C. Kegel, Esq., of the law firm Kegel Kelin Almy & … Continue reading Presentation to PASBO


Presentation to Public Utility Commission CLE

6 June 2017

Last Thursday, I took part in a panel discussion at a CLE organized by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. We discussed a number of issues related to the Right-to-Know Law and the Office of Open Records. Among the issues covered were the OOR’s Final Determinations in two cases (both captioned David Hommrich and Sunrise Energy … Continue reading Presentation to Public Utility Commission CLE


Presentation to PA-NENA in Stroudsburg

15 May 2017

Last Friday, I traveled to Stroudsburg and spoke to members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (PA-NENA) about the Right-to-Know Law, the Office of Open Records, and related issues. It was a great discussion, and I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation I used: PA-NENA – May 12, 2017 … Continue reading Presentation to PA-NENA in Stroudsburg


Presentation to PA-NENA in New Castle

8 May 2017

Last Friday, I traveled to New Castle and spoke to members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (PA-NENA) about the Right-to-Know Law, the Office of Open Records, and related issues. It was a great discussion, and I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation I used: PA-NENA – May 5, … Continue reading Presentation to PA-NENA in New Castle


Presentation to Allentown Morning Call

8 May 2017

Last Thursday, I spoke to employees of the Allentown Morning Call about the Right-to-Know Law, the Office of Open Records, and related issues. It was a great discussion, and I very much appreciate the invitation. Here’s the presentation I used: Allentown Morning Call – May 4, 2017 – PDF Allentown Morning Call – May 4, … Continue reading Presentation to Allentown Morning Call


Docket Date Title County Status
2018-0073 01/17/2018 Lutz v. Bristol Borough Bucks Dismissed: Untimely
2018-0072 01/17/2018 Lutz v. Bristol Borough Bucks Dismissed: Untimely
2018-0069 01/17/2018 Hannigan v. Pennridge School District Bucks Dismissed: Premature
2018-0068 01/17/2018 Pannella v. Phoenixville Police Department Chester Transferred
2017-2398 01/17/2018 Kogan v. Morrisville Borough Bucks Dismissed: Untimely
2017-2395 01/17/2018 Yakim v. Monroeville Municipality Allegheny Denied
2017-2381 01/17/2018 Williams v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Commonwealth Dismissed: Moot
Date Organization
January 22, 2018, 9:00 AM Berks County Conservation District
January 24, 2018, 9:00 AM Delaware County Police Chiefs
February 7, 2018, 1:00 PM Blue Ridge Cable 13
February 7, 2018, 5:30 PM PA State Association of Boroughs
February 14, 2018, 9:30 AM PA Department of Community & Economic Development
March 28, 2018, 8:30 AM PA Parks and Recreation Society Annual Conference