DISCLOSURE OF E-MAILS UNDER STATE PUBLIC RECORDS ACTS

Unites States courts have consistently held that although e-mail communications by public officials, in general, fall within the definition of “public records” under various states’ public records acts, personal e-mail communications of the same officials do not necessarily fall under the public record category.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Does the fact that e-mail communication is stored on a State computer render it a “public record”?
How must a request for disclosure of public e-mails be structured?
How important is the content of the e-mails in question in determining whether they constitute “public records”?

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