Guide to Open Government
Procedure for Access to Public Records
in the Town of Burrillville
1. It is the intent of this procedure to comply with the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (APRA), which recognizes the public’s right to access public records and the individual’s right to dignity and privacy.
2. This policy shall in no way affect the records that are prepared for or readily available to the public, i.e. land evidence records, assessor’s maps, resolutions, etc.
3. Requests shall be made in writing through the town clerk, who is hereby designated the public records officer. Contact 568-4300, email@example.com or Town Clerk, 105 Harrisville Main Street, Harrisville, RI 02830.
4. The public is asked to use a public records request form that is available in the town clerk’s office or on-line on the town clerk’s page of the town website: burrillville.org*.
5. All requests must be specific in nature so the Town can provide accurate information as quickly and efficiently as possible.
6. A deposit may be requested at the time of the request. Any underpayment or overpayment will be reconciled when the records are provided. Final payment must be made before the records are released.
7. Upon request, a written estimate of the cost to research and copy the requested records, including an estimate of the cost of delivery if the record is to be delivered, will be provided.
8. If the record(s) are determined to be exempt from public disclosure, denial of access shall be made in writing in accordance with the provisions of §38-2-7 et seq.
9. If the individual indicates that he/she wants to view records or receive copies, the clerk’s office will:
a. consult with the appropriate department head and prepare the records within the timeframe provided by the APRA; and
b. schedule an appointment for the individual to view the documents; or
c. schedule a time during usual business hours for payment and retrieval of the records; or
d. upon receipt of payment for the records and payment for delivery, deliver the records as specified, as provided in §38-2-3(k).
10. The following fees apply to public records:
a. $1.50 per page for any recorded document or any document filed with the probate court.
b. $ .15 per page for any public records copied on 8½ x 11” or 8½ x 14” paper. Copies made on larger paper may be charged at a higher rate.
c. No more than the actual cost of providing electronic records.
d. $15.00 per hour for search and retrieval, with the first hour free. The fee for search and retrieval applies to requests to view records as well as requests for copies.
11. An individual may inspect no more than two files at one time and must do so within an area of the town building specified by the town clerk. Inspection of records may be overseen by a town employee.
12. The town does not warrant that data supplied on recording media will be usable by any particular hardware or software configuration; it is not the town’s responsibility to determine the suitability and compatibility of this information and its format.
13. In accordance with the APRA, the period for denial of the right to inspect and/or copy records may be extended for an additional twenty (20) business days for good cause; the extension must be made in writing within the original 10 days.
14. If a requested public record is not available at the time a request is made because the record is either in active use or in storage, the town clerk shall inform the requesting individual and schedule an appointment for the individual to inspect and/or obtain copies.
15. The regular business hours for inspection/retrieval of records are:
Monday – Wednesday 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Thursday 8:30 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Friday 8:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
16. All written requests and responses shall be kept on file in the office of the town clerk.
17. Individuals who have been denied access to public records may file a review petition with the town manager or file a complaint with the Department of the Attorney General or with the Rhode Island Superior Court.
* The attached Request for Public Records form is a PDF file that can be completed on a computer, printed out and submitted to the Town Clerk's office, 105 Harrisville Main St., Harrisville, RI 02830. The form is also available at the Clerk's office.