OPEN RECORDS ACT

The Georgia Open Records Act was amended in 2012…Below is the latest version of the act, enacted in March, 2012.  An earlier version of the law follows the 2012 version.

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70

GEORGIA CODE

Copyright 2012 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

THE OPEN RECORDS ACT

50-18-70.

(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that the strong public policy of this state is in

favor of open government; that open government is essential to a free, open, and democratic

society; and that public access to public records should be encouraged to foster confidence in

government and so that the public can evaluate the expenditure of public funds and the efficient

and proper functioning of its institutions. The General Assembly further finds and declares that

there is a strong presumption that public records should be made available for public inspection

without delay. This article shall be broadly construed to allow the inspection of governmental

records. The exceptions set forth in this article, together with any other exception located

elsewhere in the Code, shall be interpreted narrowly to exclude only those portions of records

addressed by such exception.

(b) As used in this article, the term:

(1) ‘Agency shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 50-14-1 and shall additionally

include any association, corporation, or other similar organization that has a membership

or ownership body composed primarily of counties, municipal corporations, or school

districts of this state, their officers, or any combination thereof and derives more than 33 1/3

percent of its general operating budget from payments from such political subdivisions.

(2) ‘Public record’ means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs,

computer based or generated information, data, data fields, or similar material prepared and

maintained or received by an agency or by a private person or entity in the

performance of a service or function for or on behalf of an agency or when such

documents have been transferred to a private person or entity by an agency for storage or

future governmental use.

50-18-71.

(a) All public records shall be open for personal inspection and copying, except those which

by order of a court of this state or by law are specifically exempted from disclosure. Records shall

be maintained by agencies to the extent and in the manner required by Article 5 of this chapter.

(b)(1)(A) Agencies shall produce for inspection all records responsive to a request within a

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reasonable amount of time not to exceed three business days of receipt of a request;

provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall require agencies to produce

records in response to a request if such records did not exist at the time of the request. In

those instances where some, but not all, records are available within three business days,

an agency shall make available within that period those records that can be located and

produced. In any instance where records are unavailable within three business days of

receipt of the request, and responsive records exist, the agency shall, within such time

period, provide the requester with a description of such records and a timeline for when

the records will be available for inspection or copying and provide the responsive records

or access thereto as soon as practicable.

(B) A request made pursuant to this article may be made to the custodian of a public

record orally or in writing. An agency may, but shall not be obligated to, require that all

written requests be made upon the responder’s choice of one of the following: the

agency’s director, chairperson, or chief executive officer, however denominated; the

senior official at any satellite office of an agency; a clerk specifically designated by an

agency as the custodian of agency records; or a duly designated open records officer of an

agency; provided, however, that the absence or unavailability of the designated agency

officer or employee shall not be permitted to delay the agency’s response. At the time of

inspection, any person may make photographic copies or other electronic reproductions

of the records using suitable portable devices brought to the place of inspection.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an agency may, in its discretion,

provide copies of a record in lieu of providing access to the record when portions of the

record contain confidential information that must be redacted.

(2) Any agency that designates one or more open records officers upon whom requests for

inspection or copying of records may be delivered shall make such designation in writing and

shall immediately provide notice to any person upon request, orally or in writing, of those

open records officers. If the agency has elected to designate an open records officer, the

agency shall so notify the legal organ of the county in which the agency’s principal offices

reside and, if the agency has a website, shall also prominently display such designation on

the agency’s website. In the event an agency requires that requests be made upon the

individuals identified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (I) of this subsection, the three-day

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period for response to a written request shall not begin to run until the request is made in

writing upon such individuals. An agency shall permit receipt of written requests by e-mail

or facsimile transmission in addition to any other methods of transmission approved by the

agency, provided such agency uses e-mail or facsimile in the normal course of its business.

(3) The enforcement provisions of Code Sections 50-18-73 and 50-18-74 shall be available

only to enforce compliance and punish noncompliance when a written request is made

consistent with this subsection and shall not be available when such request is made orally.

(c)(1) An agency may impose a reasonable charge for the search, retrieval, redaction, and

production or copying costs for the production of records pursuant to this article. An agency

shall utilize the most economical means reasonably calculated to identify and produce

responsive, non excluded documents. Where fees for certified copies or other copies or

records are specifically authorized or otherwise prescribed by law, such specific fee shall apply

when certified copies or other records to which a specific fee may apply are sought. In all

other instances, the charge for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records shall not exceed

the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid full-time employee who, in the reasonable

discretion of the custodian of the records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the

request; provided, however, that no charge shall be made for the first quarter hour.

(2) In addition to a charge for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records, an agency may

charge a fee for the copying of records or data, not to exceed 10¢ per page for letter or legal

size documents or, in the case of other documents, the actual cost of producing the copy. In

the case of electronic records, the agency may charge the actual cost of the media on which

the records or data are produced.

(3) Whenever any person has requested to inspect or copy a public record and does not pay

the cost for search, retrieval, redaction, or copying of such records when such charges have

been lawfully estimated and agreed to pursuant to this article, and the agency has incurred the

agreed-upon costs to make the records available, regardless of whether the requester inspects

or accepts copies of the records, the agency shall be authorized to collect such charges in

any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments by such

agency.

(d) In any instance in which an agency is required to or has decided to withhold all or part of a

requested record, the agency shall notify the requester of the specific legal authority exempting

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the requested record or records from disclosure by Code section, subsection, and paragraph within

a reasonable amount of time not to exceed three business days or in the event the search and

retrieval of records is delayed pursuant to this paragraph or pursuant to subparagraph (b)(I)(A) of

this Code section, then no later than three business days after the records have been retrieved.

In any instance in which an agency will seek costs in excess of $25.00 for responding to a

request, the agency shall notify the requester within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed

three business days and inform the requester of the estimate of the costs, and the agency may

defer search and retrieval of the records until the requester agrees to pay the estimated costs

unless the requester has stated in his or her request a willingness to pay an amount that exceeds

the search and retrieval costs. In any instance in which the estimated costs for production of the

records exceeds $500.00, an agency may insist on prepayment of the costs prior to beginning

search, retrieval, review, or production of the records. Whenever any person who has requested

to inspect or copy a public record has not paid the cost for search, retrieval, redaction, or copying

of such records when such charges have been lawfully incurred, an agency may require

prepayment for compliance with all future requests for production of records from that person

until the costs for the prior production of records have been paid or the dispute regarding

payment resolved.

(e) Requests by civil litigants for records that are sought as part of or for use in any ongoing

civil or administrative litigation against an agency shall be made in writing and copied to counsel

of record for that agency contemporaneously with their submission to that agency. The agency

shall provide, at no cost, duplicate sets of all records produced in response to the request to

counsel of record for that agency unless the counsel of record for that agency elects not to

receive the records.

(f) As provided in this subsection, an agency’s use of electronic record-keeping systems must

not erode the public’s right of access to records under this article. Agencies shall produce

electronic copies of or, if the requester prefers, printouts of electronic records or data from data

base fields that the agency maintains using the computer programs that the agency has in its

possession. An agency shall not refuse to produce such electronic records, data, or data

fields on the grounds that exporting data or redaction of exempted information will require

inputting range, search, filter, report parameters, or similar commands or instructions into an

agency’s computer system so long as such commands or instructions can be executed using

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existing computer programs that the agency uses in the ordinary course of business to access,

support, or otherwise manage the records or data. A requester may request that electronic

records, data, or data fields be produced in the format in which such data or electronic records

are kept by the agency, or in a standard export format such as a flat file electronic American

Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format, if the agency’s existing computer

programs support such an export format. In such instance, the data or electronic records shall be

downloaded in such format onto suitable electronic media by the agency.

(g) Requests to inspect or copy electronic messages, whether in the form of e-mail, text

message, or other format, should contain information about the messages that is reasonably

calculated to allow the recipient of the request to locate the messages sought, including, if

known, the name, title, or office of the specific person or persons whose electronic

messages are sought and, to the extent possible, the specific data bases to be searched for such

messages.

(h) In lieu of providing separate printouts or copies of records or data, an agency may provide

access to records through a website accessible by the public. However, if an agency

receives a request for data fields, an agency shall not refuse to provide the responsive data

on the grounds that the data is available in whole or in its constituent parts through a website if the

requester seeks the data in the electronic format in which it is kept. Additionally, if an agency

contracts with a private vendor to collect or maintain public records, the agency shall ensure that

the arrangement does not limit public access to those records and that the vendor does not

impede public record access and method of delivery as established by the agency or as otherwise

provided for in this Code section.

(i) Any computerized index of county real estate deed records shall be printed for purposes of

public inspection no less than every 30 days, and any correction made on such index shall be

made a part of the printout and shall reflect the time and date that such index was corrected.

(j) No public officer or agency shall be required to prepare new reports, summaries, or

compilations not in existence at the time of the request.

50-18-72.

(a) Public disclosure shall not be required for records that are:

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(1) Specifically required by federal statute or regulation to be kept confidential;

(2) Medical or veterinary records and similar files, the disclosure of which would be an

invasion of personal privacy;

(3) Except as otherwise provided by law, records compiled for law enforcement or

prosecution purposes to the extent that production of such records is reasonably likely to

disclose the identity of a confidential source, disclose confidential investigative or

prosecution material which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or

persons, or disclose the existence of a confidential surveillance or investigation;

(4) Records of law enforcement, prosecution, or regulatory agencies in any pending

investigation or prosecution of criminal or unlawful activity, other than initial police arrest

reports and initial incident reports; provided, however, that an investigation or prosecution

shall no longer be deemed to be pending when all direct litigation involving such

investigation and prosecution has become final or otherwise terminated; and provided,

further, that this paragraph shall not apply to records in the possession of an agency that is

the subject of the pending investigation or prosecution;

(5) Individual Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports, except upon the

submission of a written statement of need by the requesting party to be provided to the

custodian of records and to set forth the need for the report pursuant to this Code section;

provided, however, that any person or entity whose name or identifying information is

contained in a Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report shall be entitled, either

personally or through a lawyer or other representative, to receive a copy of such report; and

provided, further, that Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports shall not be

available in bulk for inspection or copying by any person absent a written statement showing

the need for each such report pursuant to the requirements of this Code section. For the

purposes of this subsection, the term ‘need’ means that the natural person or legal entity who is

requesting in person or by representative to inspect or copy the Georgia Uniform Motor

Vehicle Accident Report:

(A) Has a personal, professional, or business connection with a party to the accident;

(B) Owns or leases an interest in property allegedly or actually damaged in the

accident;

(C) Was allegedly or actually injured by the accident;

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(D) Was a witness to the accident;

(E) Is the actual or alleged insurer of a party to the accident or of property actually or

allegedly damaged by the accident;

(F) Is a prosecutor or a publicly employed law enforcement officer;

(G) Is alleged to be liable to another party as a result of the accident;

(H) Is an attorney stating that he or she needs the requested reports as part of a criminal

case, or an investigation of a potential claim involving contentions that a roadway,

railroad crossing, or intersection is unsafe;

(I) Is gathering information as a representative of a news media organization;

(J) Is conducting research in the public interest for such purposes as accident

prevention, prevention of injuries or damages in accidents, determination of fault in an

accident or accidents, or other similar purposes; provided, however, that this

subparagraph shall apply only to accident reports on accidents that occurred more than 30

days prior to the request and which shall have the name, street address, telephone

number, and driver’s license number redacted; or

(K) Is a governmental official, entity, or agency, or an authorized agent thereof,

requesting reports for the purpose of carrying out governmental functions or legitimate

governmental duties;

(6) Jury list data, including, but not limited to, persons’ names, dates of birth, addresses,

ages, race, gender, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and when it is available, the

person’s ethnicity, and other confidential identifying information that is collected and used by

the Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia for creating, compiling, and maintaining

state-wide master jury lists and county master jury lists for the purpose of establishing and

maintaining county jury source lists pursuant to the provisions of Chapter /2 of Title 15;

provided, however, that when ordered by the judge of a court having jurisdiction over a case

in which a challenge to the array of the grand or trial jury has been filed, the Council of

Superior Court Clerks of Georgia or the clerk of the county board of jury commissioners of

any county shall provide data within the time limit established by the court for the limited

purpose of such challenge. Neither the Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia

nor the clerk of a county board of jury commissioners shall be liable for any use or

misuse of such data;

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(7) Records consisting of confidential evaluations submitted to, or examinations prepared by,

a governmental agency and prepared in connection with the appointment or hiring of a public

officer or employee;

(8) Records consisting of material obtained in investigations related to the suspension,

firing, or investigation of complaints against public officers or employees until ten days after

the same has been presented to the agency or an officer for action or the investigation is

otherwise concluded or terminated, provided that this paragraph shall not be interpreted to

make such investigatory records privileged;

(9) Real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates, or other records made for or

by the state or a local agency relative to the acquisition of real property until such time as the

property has been acquired or the proposed transaction has been terminated or abandoned;

(10) Pending, rejected, or deferred sealed bids or sealed proposals and detailed cost

estimates related thereto until such time as the final award of the contract is made, the project

is terminated or abandoned, or the agency in possession of the records takes a public vote

regarding the sealed bid or scaled proposal, whichever comes first;

(11) Records which identify persons applying for or under consideration for employment or

appointment as executive head of an agency or of a unit of the University System of Georgia;

provided, however, that at least 14 calendar days prior to the meeting at which final action or

vote is to be taken on the position of executive head of an agency or five business days prior

to the meeting at which final action or vote is to be taken on the position of president of a

unit of the University System of Georgia, all documents concerning as many as three persons

under consideration whom the agency has determined to be the best qualified for the position

shall be subject to inspection and copying. Prior to the release of these documents, an agency

may allow such a person to decline being considered further for the position rather than have

documents pertaining to such person released. In that event, the agency shall release the

documents of the next most qualified person under consideration who does not decline

the position. If an agency has conducted its hiring or appointment process without

conducting interviews or discussing or deliberating in executive session in a manner

otherwise consistent with Chapter 14 of this title, it shall not be required to delay final action

on the position. The agency shall not be required to release such records of other applicants

or persons under consideration, except at the request of any such person. Upon request, the

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hiring agency shall furnish the number of applicants and the composition of the list by such

factors as race and sex. The agency shall not be allowed to avoid the provisions of this

paragraph by the employment of a private person or agency to assist with the search or

application process;

(12) Related to the provision of staff services to individual members of the General

Assembly by the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office, the Senate

Research Office, or the House Budget and Research Office, provided that this exception shall

not have any application to records related to the provision of staff services to any committee

or subcommittee or to any records which are or have been previously publicly disclosed by

or pursuant to the direction of an individual member of the General Assembly;

(13) Records that are of historical research value which are given or sold to public archival

institutions, public libraries, or libraries of a unit of the Board of Regents of the University

System of Georgia when the owner or donor of such records wishes to place restrictions on

access to the records. No restriction on access, however, may extend more than 75 years from

the date of donation or sale. This exemption shall not apply to any records prepared in the

course of the operation of state or local governments of the State of Georgia;

(14) Records that contain information from the Department of Natural Resources

inventory and register relating to the location and character of a historic property or of

historic properties as those terms are defined in Code Sections 12-3-50.1 and 12-3-50.2 if

the Department of Natural Resources through its Division of Historic Preservation

determines that disclosure will create a substantial risk of harm, theft, or destruction to the

property or properties or the area or place where the property or properties are located;

(15) Records of farm water use by individual farms as determined by water-measuring

devices installed pursuant to Code Section 12-5-31 or 12-5-105; provided, however, that

compilations of such records for the 52 large watershed basins as identified by the eight-digit

United States Geologic Survey hydrologic code or an aquifer that do not reveal farm

water use by individual farms shall be subject to disclosure under this article;

(16) Agricultural or food system records, data, or information that are considered by the

Department of Agriculture to be a part of the critical infrastructure, provided that nothing in

this paragraph shall prevent the release of such records, data, or information to another state or

federal agency if the release of such records, data, or information is necessary to prevent or

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control disease or to protect public health, safety, or welfare. As used in this paragraph, the

term ‘critical infrastructure’ shall have the same meaning as in 42 U.S.C. Section 5195e(e).

Such records, data, or information shall be subject to disclosure only upon the order of a

court of competent jurisdiction;

(17) Records, data, or information collected, recorded, or otherwise obtained that is

deemed confidential by the Department of Agriculture for the purposes of the national animal

identification system, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the release of

such records, data, or information to another state or federal agency if the release of such

records, data, or information is necessary to prevent or control disease or to protect public

health, safety, or welfare. As used in this paragraph, the term ‘national animal identification

program’ means a national program intended to identify animals and track them as they come

into contact with or commingle with animals other than herdmates from their premises of

origin. Such records, data, or information shall be subject to disclosure only upon the order

of a court of competent jurisdiction;

(18) Records that contain site-specific information regarding the occurrence of rare species

of plants or animals or the location of sensitive natural habitats on public or private property

if the Department of Natural Resources determines that disclosure will create a substantial

risk of harm, theft, or destruction to the species or habitats or the area or place where the

species or habitats are located; provided, however, that the owner or owners of private

property upon which rare species of plants or animals occur or upon which sensitive natural

habitats are located shall be entitled to such information pursuant to this article;

(19) Records that reveal the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, security codes, email

addresses, or any other data or information developed, collected, or received by counties

or municipalities in connection with neighborhood watch or public safety notification

programs or with the installation, servicing, maintaining, operating, selling, or leasing of

burglar alarm systems, fire alarm systems, or other electronic security systems; provided,

however, that initial police reports and initial incident reports shall remain subject to

disclosure pursuant to paragraph (4) of this subsection;

(20)(A) Records that reveal an individual’s social security number, mother’s birth name,

credit card information, debit card information, bank account information, account

number, utility account number, password used to access his or her account, financial

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data or information, insurance or medical information in all records, unlisted telephone

number if so designated in a public record, personal e-mail address or cellular telephone

number, day and month of birth, and information regarding public utility, television,

Internet, or telephone accounts held by private customers, provided that nonitemized bills

showing amounts owed and amounts paid shall be available. Items exempted by this

subparagraph shall be redacted prior to disclosure of any record requested pursuant to this

article; provided, however, that such information shall not be redacted from such records

if the person or entity requesting such records requests such information in a writing

signed under oath by such person or a person legally authorized to represent such entity

which states that such person or entity is gathering information as a representative of a

news media organization for use in connection with news gathering and reporting; and

provided, further, that such access shall be limited to social security numbers and day and

month of birth; and provided, further, that the news media organization exception in this

subparagraph shall not apply to paragraph (21) of this subsection.

(B) This paragraph shall have no application to:

(i) The disclosure of information contained in the records or papers of any court or

derived therefrom including without limitation records maintained pursuant to

Article 9 of Title 11;

(ii) The disclosure of information to a court, prosecutor, or publicly employed law

enforcement officer, or authorized agent thereof, seeking records in an official

capacity;

(iii) The disclosure of information to a public employee of this state, its political

subdivisions, or the United States who is obtaining such information for

administrative purposes, in which case, subject to applicable laws of the United

States, further access to such information shall continue to be subject to the provisions

of this paragraph;

(iv) The disclosure of information as authorized by the order of a court of competent

jurisdiction upon good cause shown to have access to any or all of such information

upon such conditions as may be set forth in such order;

(v) The disclosure of information to the individual in respect of whom such

information is maintained, with the authorization thereof, or to an authorized agent

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thereof; provided, however, that the agency maintaining such information shall

require proper identification of such individual or such individual’s agent, or proof of

authorization, as determined by such agency;

(vi) The disclosure of the day and month of birth and mother’s birth name of a

deceased individual;

(vii) The disclosure by an agency of credit or payment information in connection

with a request by a consumer reporting agency as that term is defined under the

federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Section 1681, et seq.);

(viii) The disclosure by an agency of information in its records in connection with the

agency’s discharging or fulfilling of its duties and responsibilities, including, but not

limited to, the collection of debts owed to the agency or individuals or entities whom

the agency assists in the collection of debts owed to the individual or entity,

(ix) The disclosure of information necessary to comply with legal or regulatory

requirements or for legitimate law enforcement purposes; or

(x) The disclosure of the date of birth within criminal records.

(C) Records and information disseminated pursuant to this paragraph maybe used only by

the authorized recipient and only for the authorized purpose. Any person who

obtains records or information pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph and

knowingly and willfully discloses, distributes, or sells such records or information to an

unauthorized recipient or for an unauthorized purpose shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of

a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided

in Code Section 17-10-4. Any person injured thereby shall have a cause of action for

invasion of privacy.

(D) In the event that the custodian of public records protected by this paragraph has

good faith reason to believe that a pending request for such records has been made

fraudulently, under false pretenses, or by means of false swearing, such custodian shall

apply to the superior court of the county in which such records are maintained for a

protective order limiting or prohibiting access to such records.

(E) This paragraph shall supplement and shall not supplant, overrule, replace, or

otherwise modify or supersede any provision of statute, regulation, or law of the federal

government or of this state as now or hereafter amended or enacted requiring,

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restricting, or prohibiting access to the information identified in subparagraph (A) of this

paragraph and shall constitute only a regulation of the methods of such access where not

otherwise provided for, restricted, or prohibited;

(21) Records concerning public employees that reveal the public employee’s home

address, home telephone number, day and month of birth, social security number,

insurance or medical information, mother’s birth name, credit card information, debit card

information, bank account information, account number, utility account number,

password used to access his or her account, financial data or information other than

compensation by a government agency, unlisted telephone number if so designated in a

public record, and the identity of the public employee’s immediate family members or

dependents. This paragraph shall not apply to public records that do not specifically identify

public employees or their jobs, titles, or offices. For the purposes of this paragraph, the

term ‘public employee’ means any officer, employee, or former employee of:

(A) The State of Georgia or its agencies, departments, or commissions;

(B) Any county or municipality or its agencies, departments, or commissions;

(C) Other political subdivisions of this state;

(D) Teachers in public and charter schools and nonpublic schools; or

(E) Early care and education programs administered through the Department of Early

Care and Learning;

(22) Records of the Department of Early Care and Learning that contain the:

(A) Names of children and day and month of each child’s birth;

(B) Names, addresses, telephone numbers, or e-mail addresses of parents, immediate

family members, and emergency contact persons; or

(C) Names or other identifying information of individuals who report violations to the

department;

(23) Public records containing information that would disclose or might lead to the disclosure

of any component in the process used to execute or adopt an electronic signature, if such

disclosure would or might cause the electronic signature to cease being under the sole control of

the person using it. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘electronic signature’ has the

same meaning as that term is defined in Code Section 10-12-2;

(24) Records acquired by an agency for the purpose of establishing or implementing, or assisting

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in the establishment or implementation of, a carpooling or ridesharing program, including, but

not limited to, the formation of carpools, vanpools, or bus pools, the provision of transit

routes, rideshare research, and the development of other demand management strategies such as

variable working hours and telecommuting;

(25)(A) Records the disclosure of which would compromise security against sabotage or

criminal or terrorist acts and the nondisclosure of which is necessary for the

protection of life, safety, or public property, which shall be limited to the following:

(i) Security plans and vulnerability assessments for any public utility, technology

infrastructure, building, facility, function, or activity in effect at the time of the

request for disclosure or pertaining to a plan or assessment in effect at such time;

(ii) Any plan for protection against terrorist or other attacks that depends for its

effectiveness in whole or in part upon a lack of general public knowledge of its

details;

(iii)Any document relating to the existence, nature, location, or function of security

devices designed to protect against terrorist or other attacks that depend for their

effectiveness in whole or in part upon a lack of general public knowledge;

(iv) Any plan, blueprint, or other material which if made public could compromise

security against sabotage, criminal, or terroristic acts; and

(v) Records of any government sponsored programs concerning training relative to

governmental security measures which would identify persons being trained or

instructors or would reveal information described in divisions (i) through (iv) of this

subparagraph.

(B) In the event of litigation challenging nondisclosure pursuant to this paragraph by an

agency of a document covered by this paragraph, the court may review the

documents in question in camera and may condition, in writing, any disclosure upon such

measures as the court may find to be necessary to protect against endangerment of life,

safety, or public property.

(C) As used in division (i) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the term ‘activity’

means deployment or surveillance strategies, actions mandated by changes in the

federal threat level, motorcades, contingency plans, proposed or alternative motorcade

routes, executive and dignitary protection, planned responses to criminal or terrorist

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actions, after-action reports still in use, proposed or actual plans and responses to

bioterrorism, and proposed or actual plans and responses to requesting and receiving the

National Pharmacy Stockpile;

(26) Unless the request is made by the accused in a criminal case or by his or her

attorney, public records of an emergency 9-1-1 system, as defined in paragraph (3) of Code

Section 46-5-122, containing information which would reveal the name, address, or telephone

number of a person placing a call to a public safety answering point. Such information may be

redacted from such records if necessary to prevent the disclosure of the identity of a confidential

source, to prevent disclosure of material which would endanger the life or physical safety of any

person or persons, or to prevent the disclosure of the existence of a confidential surveillance or

investigation;

(27) Records of athletic or recreational programs, available through the state or a

political subdivision of the state, that include information identifying a child or children

12 years of age or under by name, address, telephone number, or emergency contact, unless such

identifying information has been redacted;

(28) Records of the State Road and Tollway Authority which would reveal the financial

accounts or travel history of any individual who is a motorist upon any toll project;

(29) Records maintained by public postsecondary educational institutions in this state and

associated foundations of such institutions that contain personal information concerning

donors or potential donors to such institutions or foundations; provided, however, that the name

of any donor and the amount of donation made by such donor shall be subject to disclosure if

such donor or any entity in which such donor has a substantial interest transacts business with

the public postsecondary educational institution to which the donation is made within three

years of the date of such donation. As used in this paragraph, the term ‘transact business’ means to

sell or lease any personal property, real property, or services on behalf of oneself or on behalf of

any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative in an amount in excess of $10,000.00

in the aggregate in a calendar year; and the term ‘substantial interest’ means the direct or indirect

ownership of more than 25 percent of the assets or stock of an entity;

(30) Records of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or of any other transit

system that is connected to that system’s TransCard, SmartCard, or successor or similar

system which would reveal the financial records or travel history of any individual who is a

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purchaser of a TransCard, SmartCard, or successor or similar fare medium. Such financial

records shall include, but not be limited to, social security number, home address, home

telephone number, e-mail address, credit or debit card information, and bank account

information but shall not include the user’s name;

(31) Building mapping information produced and maintained pursuant to Article 10 of

Chapter 3 of Title 38;

(32) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (4) of this subsection, any physical

evidence or investigatory materials that are evidence of an alleged violation of Part 2 of Article 3

of Chapter 12 of Title 16 and are in the possession, custody, or control of law enforcement,

prosecution, or regulatory agencies;

(33) Records that are expressly exempt from public inspection pursuant to Code Sections

47-1-14 and 47-7-127;

(34) Any trade secrets obtained from a person or business entity that are required by law,

regulation, bid, or request for proposal to be submitted to an agency. An entity submitting

records containing trade secrets that wishes to keep such records confidential under this

paragraph shall submit and attach to the records an affidavit affirmatively declaring that

specific information in the records constitute trade secrets pursuant to Article 27 of Chapter 1

of Title 10. If such entity attaches such an affidavit, before producing such records in

response to a request under this article, the agency shall notify the entity of its intention to

produce such records as set forth in this paragraph. If the agency makes a determination that

the specifically identified information does not in fact constitute a trade secret, it shall notify

the entity submitting the affidavit of its intent to disclose the information within ten days

unless prohibited from doing so by an appropriate court order. In the event the entity

wishes to prevent disclosure of the requested records, the entity may file an action in

superior court to obtain an order that the requested records are trade secrets exempt from

disclosure. The entity filing such action shall serve the requestor with a copy of its court

filing. If the agency makes a determination that the specifically identified information does

constitute a trade secret, the agency shall withhold the records, and the requester may file an

action in superior court to obtain an order that the requested records are not trade secrets and

are subject to disclosure;

(35) Data, records, or information of a proprietary nature, produced or collected by or for

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faculty or staff of state institutions of higher learning, or other governmental agencies, in the

conduct of, or as a result of, study or research on commercial, scientific, technical, or scholarly

issues, whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or

private concern, where such data, records, or information has not been publicly released,

published, copyrighted, or patented;

(36) Any data, records, or information developed, collected, or received by or on behalf of

faculty, staff, employees, or students of an institution of higher education or any public or

private entity supporting or participating in the activities of an institution of higher education

in the conduct of, or as a result of, study or research on medical, scientific, technical,

scholarly, or artistic issues, whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction

with a governmental body or private entity, until such information is published,

patented, otherwise publicly disseminated, or released to an agency whereupon the request

must be made to the agency. This paragraph shall apply to, but shall not be limited to,

information provided by participants in research, research notes and data, discoveries,

research projects, methodologies, protocols, and creative works;

(37) Any record that would not be subject to disclosure, or the disclosure of which would

jeopardize the receipt of federal funds, under 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g or its

implementing regulations;

(38) Unless otherwise provided by law, records consisting of questions, scoring keys, and

other materials constituting a test that derives value from being unknown to the test taker prior

to administration which is to be administered by an agency, including, but not limited to, any

public school, any unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, any

public technical school, the State Board of Education, the Office of Student Achievement, the

Professional Standards Commission, or a local school system, if reasonable measures are taken

by the owner of the test to protect security and confidentiality; provided, however, that the

State Board of Education may establish procedures whereby a person may view, but not copy,

such records if viewing will not, in the judgment of the board, affect the result of

administration of such test. These limitations shall not be interpreted by any court of law to

include or otherwise exempt from inspection the records of any athletic association or other

nonprofit entity promoting intercollegiate athletics;

(39) Records disclosing the identity or personally identifiable information of any person

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participating in research on commercial, scientific, technical, medical, scholarly, or

artistic issues conducted by the Department of Community Health, the Department of Public

Health, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, or a state

institution of higher education whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction

with a governmental body or private entity;

(40) Any permanent records maintained by a judge of the probate court pursuant to Code

Section 16-11-129, relating to weapons carry licenses, or pursuant to any other

requirement for maintaining records relative to the possession of firearms, except to the

extent that such records relating to licensing and possession of firearms are sought by law

enforcement agencies as provided by law;

(41) Records containing communications subject to the attorney-client privilege

recognized by state law; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to the factual

findings, but shall apply to the legal conclusions, of an attorney conducting an investigation

on behalf of an agency so long as such investigation does not pertain to pending or potential

litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or

to be brought by or against the agency or any officer or employee; and provided, further,

that such investigations conducted by hospital authorities to ensure compliance with

federal or state law, regulations, or reimbursement policies shall be exempt from disclosure if

such investigations are otherwise subject to the attorney-client privilege. Attorney-client

communications, however, may be obtained in a proceeding under Code Section 50-18-73 to

prove justification or lack thereof in refusing disclosure of documents under this Code section

provided the judge of the court in which such proceeding is pending shall first determine by

an in camera examination that such disclosure would be relevant on that issue. In

addition, when an agency withholds information subject to this paragraph, any party

authorized to bring a proceeding under Code Section 50-18-73 may request that the judge of

the court in which such proceeding is pending determine by an in camera examination

whether such information was properly withheld;

(42) Confidential attorney work product; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not

apply to the factual findings, but shall apply to the legal conclusions, of an attorney

conducting an investigation on behalf of an agency so long as such investigation does not

pertain to pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or

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other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the agency or any officer or

employee; and provided, further, that such investigations conducted by hospital authorities to

ensure compliance with federal or state law, regulations, or reimbursement policies shall be

exempt from disclosure if such investigations are otherwise subject to confidentiality as

attorney work product. In addition, when an agency withholds information subject to

this paragraph, any party authorized to bring a proceeding under Code Section 50-18-73 may

request that the judge of the court in which such proceeding is pending determine by an in

camera examination whether such information was properly withheld;

(43) Records containing tax matters or tax information that is confidential under state or

federal law;

(44) Records consisting of any computer program or computer software used or

maintained in the course of operation of a public office or agency; provided, however, that data

generated, kept, or received by an agency shall be subject to inspection and copying as provided

in this article;

(45) Records pertaining to the rating plans, rating systems, underwriting rules, surveys,

inspections, statistical plans, or similar proprietary information used to provide or

administer liability insurance or self-insurance coverage to any agency;

(46) Documents maintained by the Department of Economic Development pertaining to an

economic development project until the economic development project is secured by binding

commitment, provided that any such documents shall be disclosed upon proper request after

a binding commitment has been secured or the project has been terminated. No later than five

business days after the Department of Economic Development secures a binding commitment

and the department has committed the use of state funds from the OneGeorgia Authority or

funds from Regional Economic Business Assistance for the project pursuant to Code Section

50-8-8, or other provisions of law, the Department of Economic Development shall give

notice that a binding commitment has been reached by posting on its website notice of the

project in conjunction with a copy of the Department of Economic Development’s

records documenting the bidding commitment made in connection with the project and the

negotiation relating thereto and by publishing notice of the project and participating parties in

the legal organ of each county in which the economic development project is to be located.

As used in this paragraph, the term ‘economic development project’ means a plan or proposal

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to locate a business, or to expand a business, that would involve an expenditure of more than

$25 million by the business or the hiring of more than 50 employees by the business; or

(47) Records related to a training program operated under the authority of Article 3 of

Chapter 4 of Title 20 disclosing an economic development project prior to a binding

commitment having been secured, relating to job applicants, or identifying proprietary hiring

practices, training, skills, or other business methods and practices of a private entity. As used

in this paragraph, the term ‘economic development project’ means a plan or proposal to

locate a business, or to expand a business, that would involve an expenditure of more

than $25 million by the business or the hiring of more than 50 employees by the business.

(b) This Code section shall be interpreted narrowly so as to exclude from disclosure only that

portion of a public record to which an exclusion is directly applicable. It shall be the duty of the

agency having custody of a record to provide all other portions of a record for public inspection

or copying.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, an exhibit tendered to the court as

evidence in a criminal or civil trial shall not be open to public inspection without approval of

the judge assigned to the case.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, in the event inspection is not

approved by the court, in lieu of inspection of such an exhibit, the custodian of such an

exhibit shall, upon request, provide one or more of the following:

(A) A photograph;

(B) A photocopy,

(C) A facsimile; or

(D) Another reproduction.

(3) The provisions of this article regarding fees for production of a record, including, but not

limited to, subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 50-18-71, shall apply to exhibits produced

according to this subsection.

(d) Any physical evidence that is used as an exhibit in a criminal or civil trial to show or support

an alleged violation of Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 12 of Title 16 shall not be open to public

inspection except by court order. If the judge approves inspection of such physical evidence, the

judge shall designate, in writing, the facility owned or operated by an agency of the state or local

government where such physical evidence may be inspected. If the judge permits inspection,

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such property or material shall not be photographed, copied, or reproduced by any means.

Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon

conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20

years, a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both.

50-18-73.

(a) The superior courts of this state shall have jurisdiction in law and in equity to entertain actions

against persons or agencies having custody of records open to the public under this article to

enforce compliance with the provisions of this article. Such actions may be brought by any

person, firm, corporation, or other entity. In addition, the Attorney General shall have authority to

bring such actions in his or her discretion as may be appropriate to enforce compliance with this

article and to seek either civil or criminal penalties or both.

(b) In any action brought to enforce the provisions of this chapter in which the court determines

that either party acted without substantial justification either in not complying with this chapter

or in instituting the litigation, the court shall, unless it finds that special circumstances exist,

assess in favor of the complaining party reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs

reasonably incurred. Whether the position of the complaining party was substantially justified

shall be determined on the basis of the record as a whole which is made in the proceeding for

which fees and other expenses are sought.

(c) Any agency or person who provides access to information in good faith reliance on the

requirements of this chapter shall not be liable in any action on account of such decision.

50-18-74.

(a) Any person or entity knowingly and willfully violating the provisions of this article by failing

or refusing to provide access to records not subject to exemption from this article, by knowingly

and willingly failing or refusing to provide access to such records within the time limits set forth

in this article, or by knowingly and willingly frustrating or attempting to frustrate the access to

records by intentionally making records difficult to obtain or review shall be guilty of a

misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for the

first violation. Alternatively, a civil penalty may be imposed by the court in any civil action

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brought pursuant to this article against any person who negligently violates the terms of this

article in an amount not to exceed $1,000.00 for the first violation. A civil penalty or criminal

fine not to exceed $2,500.00 per violation may be imposed for each additional violation that the

violator commits within a 12 month period from the date the first penalty or fine was

imposed. It shall be a defense to any criminal action under this Code section that a person has

acted in good faith in his or her actions. In addition, persons or entities that destroy records for

the purpose of preventing their disclosure under this article may be subject to prosecution under

Code Section 45-11-1.

(b) A prosecution under this Code section may only be commenced by issuance of a

citation in the same manner as an arrest warrant for a peace officer pursuant to Code

Section 17-4-40; such citation shall be personally served upon the accused. The defendant shall

not be arrested prior to the time of trial, except that a defendant who fails to appear for

arraignment or trial may thereafter be arrested pursuant to a bench warrant and required to post a

bond for his or her future appearance.

50-18-75.

Communications between the Office of Legislative Counsel and the following persons shall be

privileged and confidential: members of the General Assembly, the Lieutenant Governor,

and persons acting on behalf of such public officers; and such communications, and records and

work product relating to such communications, shall not be subject to inspection or disclosure

under this article or any other law or under judicial process; provided, however, that this

privilege shall not apply where it is waived by the affected public officer or officers. The

privilege established under this Code section is in addition to any other constitutional, statutory,

or common law privilege.

50-18-76.

No form, document, or other written matter which is required by law or rule or regulation to be

filed as a vital record under the provisions of Chapter 10 of Title 31, which contains information

which is exempt from disclosure under Code Section 31-10-25, and which is temporarily kept or

maintained in any file or with any other documents in the office of the judge or clerk of any court

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prior to filing with the Department of Public Health shall be open to inspection by the general

public, even though the other papers or documents in such file may be open to inspection.

50-18-77.

The procedures and fees provided for in this article shall not apply to public records, including

records that are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Code Section 50-18-72, which are

requested in writing by a state or federal grand jury, taxing authority, law enforcement

agency, or prosecuting attorney in conjunction with an ongoing administrative,

criminal, or tax investigation. The lawful custodian shall provide copies of such records to the

requesting agency unless such records are privileged or disclosure to such agencies is

specifically restricted by law.

 

 

Earlier version of the law

 

Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70  (2007)

§ 50-18-70.  Inspection of public records; printing of computerized indexes of county real estate deed records; time for determination of whether requested records are subject to access; electronic access to records

(a) As used in this article, the term “public record” shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer based or generated information, or similar material prepared and maintained or received in the course of the operation of a public office or agency. “Public record” shall also mean such items received or maintained by a private person or entity on behalf of a public office or agency which are not otherwise subject to protection from disclosure; provided, however, this Code section shall be construed to disallow an agency’s placing or causing such items to be placed in the hands of a private person or entity for the purpose of avoiding disclosure. Records received or maintained by a private person, firm, corporation, or other private entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of an agency, a public agency, or a public office shall be subject to disclosure to the same extent that such records would be subject to disclosure if received or maintained by such agency, public agency, or public office. As used in this article, the term “agency” or “public agency” or “public office” shall have the same meaning and application as provided for in the definition of the term “agency” in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-14-1 and shall additionally include any association, corporation, or other similar organization which: (1) has a membership or ownership body composed primarily of counties, municipal corporations, or school districts of this state or their officers or any combination thereof; and (2) derives a substantial portion of its general operating budget from payments from such political subdivisions.

(b) All public records of an agency as defined in subsection (a) of this Code section, except those which by order of a court of this state or by law are prohibited or specifically exempted from being open to inspection by the general public, shall be open for a personal inspection by any citizen of this state at a reasonable time and place; and those in charge of such records shall not refuse this privilege to any citizen.

(c) Any computerized index of a county real estate deed records shall be printed for purposes of public inspection no less than every 30 days and any correction made on such index shall be made a part of the printout and shall reflect the time and date that said index was corrected.

(d) No public officer or agency shall be required to prepare reports, summaries, or compilations not in existence at the time of the request.

(e) In a pending proceeding under Chapter 13 of this title, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” or under any other administrative proceeding authorized under Georgia law, a party may not access public records pertaining to the subject of the proceeding pursuant to this article without the prior approval of the presiding administrative law judge, who shall consider such open record request in the same manner as any other request for information put forth by a party in such a proceeding. This subsection shall not apply to any proceeding under Chapter 13 of this title, relating to the revocation, suspension, annulment, withdrawal, or denial of a professional education certificate, as defined in Code Section 20-2-200, or any personnel proceeding authorized under Part 7 and Part 11 of Article 17 and Article 25 of Chapter 2 of Title 20.

(f) The individual in control of such public record or records shall have a reasonable amount of time to determine whether or not the record or records requested are subject to access under this article and to permit inspection and copying. In no event shall this time exceed three business days. Where responsive records exist but are not available within three business days of the request, a written description of such records, together with a timetable for their inspection and copying, shall be provided within that period; provided, however, that records not subject to inspection under this article need not be made available for inspection and copying or described other than as required by subsection (h) of Code Section 50-18-72, and no records need be made available for inspection or copying if the public officer or agency in control of such records shall have obtained, within that period of three business days, an order based on an exception in this article of a superior court of this state staying or refusing the requested access to such records.

(g) At the request of the person, firm, corporation, or other entity requesting such records, records maintained by computer shall be made available where practicable by electronic means, including Internet access, subject to reasonable security restrictions preventing access to nonrequested or nonavailable records.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1959, p. 88, § 1; Code 1981, § 50-18-70; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1789, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 243, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1061, § 5; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1545, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2829, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1394, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1436, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1994, p. 618, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 128, § 50; Ga. L. 1999, p. 552, §§ 1, 2.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50. STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18. STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4. INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71 (2007)

§ 50-18-71. Right of access to make photographs or reproductions

(a) In all cases where an interested member of the public has a right to inspect or take extracts or make copies from any public records, instruments, or documents, any such person shall have the right of access to the records, documents, or instruments for the purpose of making photographs or reproductions of the same while in the possession, custody, and control of the lawful custodian thereof, or his authorized deputy. Such work shall be done under the supervision of the lawful custodian of the records, who shall have the right to adopt and enforce reasonable rules governing the work. The work shall be done in the room where the records, documents, or instruments are kept by law. While the work is in progress, the custodian may charge the person making the photographs or reproductions of the records, documents, or instruments at a rate of compensation to be agreed upon by the person making the photographs and the custodian for his services or the services of a deputy in supervising the work.

(b) Where fees for certified copies or other copies or records are specifically authorized or otherwise prescribed by law, such specific fee shall apply.

(c) Where no fee is otherwise provided by law, the agency may charge and collect a uniform copying fee not to exceed 25 cent(s) per page.

(d) In addition, a reasonable charge may be collected for search, retrieval, and other direct administrative costs for complying with a request under this Code section. The hourly charge shall not exceed the salary of the lowest paid full-time employee who, in the discretion of the custodian of the records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the request; provided, however, that no charge shall be made for the first quarter hour.

(e) An agency shall utilize the most economical means available for providing copies of public records.

(f) Where information requested is maintained by computer, an agency may charge the public its actual cost of a computer disk or tape onto which the information is transferred and may charge for the administrative time involved as set forth in subsection (d) of this Code section.

(g) Whenever any person has requested one or more copies of a public record and such person does not pay the copying charges and charges for search, retrieval, or other direct administrative costs in accordance with the provisions of this Code section:

(1) A county or a department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority, or similar body of a county is authorized to collect such charges in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the county;

(2) A municipal corporation or a department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority, or similar body of a municipal corporation is authorized to collect such charges in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the municipal corporation;

(3) A consolidated government or a department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority, or similar body of a consolidated government is authorized to collect such charges in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the consolidated government;

(4) A county school board or a department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority, or similar body of a county school board is authorized to collect such charges in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the county;

(5) An independent school board or a department, agency, board, bureau, commission, authority, or similar body of an independent school board is authorized to collect such charges in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the municipal corporation; and

(6) A joint or regional authority or instrumentality which serves one or more counties and one or more municipal corporations, two or more counties, or two or more municipal corporations is authorized to collect such charges in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the county if a county is involved with the authority or instrumentality or in any manner authorized by law for the collection of taxes, fees, or assessments owed to the municipal corporation if a municipal corporation is involved with the authority or instrumentality.

This subsection shall apply whether or not the person requesting the copies has appeared to receive the copies.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1959, p. 88, § 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1789, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 243, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1061, § 6; Ga. L. 1996, p. 313, § 1.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72  (2007)

§ 50-18-72.  When public disclosure not required; disclosure of exempting legal authority

(a) Public disclosure shall not be required for records that are:

(1) Specifically required by the federal government to be kept confidential;

(2) Medical or veterinary records and similar files, the disclosure of which would be an invasion of personal privacy;

(3) Except as otherwise provided by law, records compiled for law enforcement or prosecution purposes to the extent that production of such records would disclose the identity of a confidential source, disclose confidential investigative or prosecution material which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or persons, or disclose the existence of a confidential surveillance or investigation;

(4) Records of law enforcement, prosecution, or regulatory agencies in any pending investigation or prosecution of criminal or unlawful activity, other than initial police arrest reports and initial incident reports; provided, however, that an investigation or prosecution shall no longer be deemed to be pending when all direct litigation involving said investigation and prosecution has become final or otherwise terminated;

(4.1) Individual Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports, except upon the submission of a written statement of need by the requesting party, such statement to be provided to the custodian of records and to set forth the need for the report pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that any person or entity whose name or identifying information is contained in a Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report shall be entitled, either personally or through a lawyer or other representative, to receive a copy of such report; and provided, further, that Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports shall not be available in bulk for inspection or copying by any person absent a written statement showing the need for each such report pursuant to the requirements of this Code section. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “need” means that the natural person or legal entity who is requesting in person or by representative to inspect or copy the Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report:

(A) Has a personal, professional, or business connection with a party to the accident;

(B) Owns or leases an interest in property allegedly or actually damaged in the accident;

(C) Was allegedly or actually injured by the accident;

(D) Was a witness to the accident;

(E) Is the actual or alleged insurer of a party to the accident or of property actually or allegedly damaged by the accident;

(F) Is a prosecutor or a publicly employed law enforcement officer;

(G) Is alleged to be liable to another party as a result of the accident;

(H) Is an attorney stating that he or she needs the requested reports as part of a criminal case, or an investigation of a potential claim involving contentions that a roadway, railroad crossing, or intersection is unsafe;

(I) Is gathering information as a representative of a news media organization;

(J) Is conducting research in the public interest for such purposes as accident prevention, prevention of injuries or damages in accidents, determination of fault in an accident or accidents, or other similar purposes; provided, however, this subparagraph will apply only to accident reports on accidents that occurred more than 30 days prior to the request and which shall have the name, street address, telephone number, and driver’s license number redacted; or

(K) Is a governmental official, entity, or agency, or an authorized agent thereof, requesting reports for the purpose of carrying out governmental functions or legitimate governmental duties;

(5) Records that consist of confidential evaluations submitted to, or examinations prepared by, a governmental agency and prepared in connection with the appointment or hiring of a public officer or employee; and records consisting of material obtained in investigations related to the suspension, firing, or investigation of complaints against public officers or employees until ten days after the same has been presented to the agency or an officer for action or the investigation is otherwise concluded or terminated, provided that this paragraph shall not be interpreted to make such investigatory records privileged;
(6)(A) Real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates, or other records made for or by the state or a local agency relative to the acquisition of real property until such time as the property has been acquired or the proposed transaction has been terminated or abandoned; and

(B) Engineers’ cost estimates and pending, rejected, or deferred bids or proposals until such time as the final award of the contract is made or the project is terminated or abandoned. The provisions of this subparagraph shall apply whether the bid or proposal is received or prepared by the Department of Transportation pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 2 of Title 32, by a county pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 4 of Title 32, by a municipality pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 4 of Title 32, or by a governmental entity pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 91 of Title 36;

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, an agency shall not be required to release those portions of records which would identify persons applying for or under consideration for employment or appointment as executive head of an agency as that term is defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-14-1, or of a unit of the University System of Georgia; provided, however, that at least 14 calendar days prior to the meeting at which final action or vote is to be taken on the position, the agency shall release all documents which came into its possession with respect to as many as three persons under consideration whom the agency has determined to be the best qualified for the position and from among whom the agency intends to fill the position. Prior to the release of these documents, an agency may allow such a person to decline being considered further for the position rather than have documents pertaining to the person released. In that event, the agency shall release the documents of the next most qualified person under consideration who does not decline the position. If an agency has conducted its hiring or appointment process open to the public, it shall not be required to delay 14 days to take final action on the position. The agency shall not be required to release such records with respect to other applicants or persons under consideration, except at the request of any such person. Upon request, the hiring agency shall furnish the number of applicants and the composition of the list by such factors as race and sex. The agency shall not be allowed to avoid the provisions of this paragraph by the employment of a private person or agency to assist with the search or application process;

(8) Related to the provision of staff services to individual members of the General Assembly by the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office, the Senate Research Office, or the House Research Office, provided that this exception shall not have any application with respect to records related to the provision of staff services to any committee or subcommittee or to any records which are or have been previously publicly disclosed by or pursuant to the direction of an individual member of the General Assembly;

(9) Records that are of historical research value which are given or sold to public archival institutions, public libraries, or libraries of a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia when the owner or donor of such records wishes to place restrictions on access to the records. No restriction on access, however, may extend more than 75 years from the date of donation or sale. This exemption shall not apply to any records prepared in the course of the operation of state or local governments of the State of Georgia;

(10) Records that contain information from the Department of Natural Resources inventory and register relating to the location and character of a historic property or of historic properties as those terms are defined in Code Sections 12-3-50.1 and 12-3-50.2 if the Department of Natural Resources through its Division of Historic Preservation determines that disclosure will create a substantial risk of harm, theft, or destruction to the property or properties or the area or place where the property or properties are located;

(10.1) Records of farm water use by individual farms as determined by water-measuring devices installed pursuant to Code Section 12-5-31 or 12-5-105; provided, however, that compilations of such records for the 52 large watershed basins as identified by the eight-digit United States Geologic Survey hydrologic code or an aquifer that do not reveal farm water use by individual farms shall be subject to disclosure under this article;

(10.2) Agricultural or food system records, data, or information that are considered by the Georgia Department of Agriculture to be a part of the critical infrastructure, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the release of such records, data, or information to another state or federal agency if the release of such records, data, or information is necessary to prevent or control disease or to protect public health, safety, or welfare. As used in this paragraph, the term “critical infrastructure” shall have the same meaning as in 42 U.S.C. Section 5195c(e). Such records, data, or information shall be subject to disclosure only upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction;

(10.3) Records, data, or information collected, recorded, or otherwise obtained that is deemed confidential by the Georgia Department of Agriculture for the purposes of the national animal identification system, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the release of such records, data, or information to another state or federal agency if the release of such records, data, or information is necessary to prevent or control disease or to protect public health, safety, or welfare. As used in this paragraph, the term “national animal identification program” means a national program intended to identify animals and track them as they come into contact with or commingle with animals other than herdmates from their premises of origin. Such records, data, or information shall be subject to disclosure only upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction;

(11) Records that contain site specific information regarding the occurrence of rare species of plants or animals or the location of sensitive natural habitats on public or private property if the Department of Natural Resources determines that disclosure will create a substantial risk of harm, theft, or destruction to the species or habitats or the area or place where the species or habitats are located; provided, however, that the owner or owners of private property upon which rare species of plants or animals occur or upon which sensitive natural habitats are located shall be entitled to such information pursuant to this article;

(11.1) An individual’s social security number and insurance or medical information in personnel records, which may be redacted from such records;

(11.2) Records that would reveal the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, security codes, or any other data or information developed, collected, or received by counties or municipalities in connection with the installation, servicing, maintaining, operating, selling, or leasing of burglar alarm systems, fire alarm systems, or other electronic security systems; provided, however, that initial police reports and initial incident reports shall remain subject to disclosure pursuant to paragraph (4) of this subsection;

(11.3) (A) An individual’s social security number, mother’s birth name, credit card information, debit card information, bank account information, financial data or information, and insurance or medical information in all records, and if technically feasible at reasonable cost, day and month of birth, which shall be redacted prior to disclosure of any record requested pursuant to this article; provided, however, that such information shall not be redacted from such records if the person or entity requesting such records requests such information in a writing signed under oath by such person or a person legally authorized to represent such entity which states that such person or entity is gathering information as a representative of a news media organization for use in connection with news gathering and reporting; and provided, further, that such access shall be limited to social security numbers and day and month of birth; and provided, further, that this news media organization exception for access to social security numbers and day and month of birth and the other protected information set forth in this subparagraph shall not apply to teachers, employees of a public school, or public employees as set forth in paragraph (13.1) of this subsection. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “public employee” means any nonelected employee of the State of Georgia or its agencies, departments, or commissions or any county or municipality or its agencies, departments, or commissions.

(B) This paragraph shall have no application to:

(i) The disclosure of information contained in the records or papers of any court or derived therefrom including without limitation records maintained pursuant to Article 9 of Title 11;

(ii) The disclosure of information to a court, prosecutor, or publicly employed law enforcement officer, or authorized agent thereof, seeking records in an official capacity;

(iii) The disclosure of information to a public employee of this state, its political subdivisions, or the United States who is obtaining such information for administrative purposes, in which case, subject to applicable laws of the United States, further access to such information shall continue to be subject to the provisions of this paragraph;

(iv) The disclosure of information as authorized by the order of a court of competent jurisdiction upon good cause shown to have access to any or all of such information upon such conditions as may be set forth in such order;

(v) The disclosure of information to the individual in respect of whom such information is maintained, with the authorization thereof, or to an authorized agent thereof; provided, however, that the agency maintaining such information shall require proper identification of such individual or such individual’s agent, or proof of authorization, as determined by such agency;

(vi) The disclosure of the day and month of birth and mother’s birth name of a deceased individual;

(vii) The disclosure by an agency of credit or payment information in connection with a request by a consumer reporting agency as that term is defined under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Section 1681, et seq.);

(viii) The disclosure by an agency of information in its records in connection with the agency’s discharging or fulfilling of its duties and responsibilities, including, but not limited to, the collection of debts owed to the agency or individuals or entities whom the agency assists in the collection of debts owed to the individual or entity; or

(ix) The disclosure of information necessary to comply with legal or regulatory requirements or for legitimate law enforcement purposes.

(C) Records and information disseminated pursuant to this paragraph may be used only by the authorized recipient and only for the authorized purpose. Any person who obtains records or information pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph and knowingly and willfully discloses, distributes, or sells such records or information to an unauthorized recipient or for an unauthorized purpose shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as provided in Code Section 17-10-4. Any person injured thereby shall have a cause of action for invasion of privacy. Any prosecution pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with the procedure in subsection (b) of Code Section 50-18-74.

(D) In the event that the custodian of public records protected by this paragraph has good faith reason to believe that a pending request for such records has been made fraudulently, under false pretenses, or by means of false swearing, such custodian shall apply to the superior court of the county in which such records are maintained for a protective order limiting or prohibiting access to such records.

(E) This paragraph shall supplement and shall not supplant, overrule, replace, or otherwise modify or supersede any provision of statute, regulation, or law of the federal government or of this state as now or hereafter amended or enacted requiring, restricting, or prohibiting access to the information identified in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and shall constitute only a regulation of the methods of such access where not otherwise provided for, restricted, or prohibited;

(12) Public records containing information that would disclose or might lead to the disclosure of any component in the process used to execute or adopt an electronic signature, if such disclosure would or might cause the electronic signature to cease being under the sole control of the person using it. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “electronic signature” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Code Section 10-12-3;

(13) Records that would reveal the home address or telephone number, social security number, or insurance or medical information of employees of the Department of Revenue, law enforcement officers, judges, scientists employed by the Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, correctional employees, and prosecutors or identification of immediate family members or dependents thereof;

(13.1) Records that reveal the home address, the home telephone number, or the social security number of or insurance or medical information about public employees or teachers and employees of a public school. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “public school” means any school which is conducted within this state and which is under the authority and supervision of a duly elected county or independent board of education;

(13.2) Records that are kept by the probate court pertaining to guardianships and conservatorships except as provided in Code Section 29-9-18;

(14) Acquired by an agency for the purpose of establishing or implementing, or assisting in the establishment or implementation of, a carpooling or ridesharing program, to the extent such records would reveal the name, home address, employment address, home telephone number, employment telephone number, or hours of employment of any individual or would otherwise identify any individual who is participating in, or who has expressed an interest in participating in, any such program. As used in this paragraph, the term “carpooling or ridesharing program” means and includes, but is not limited to, the formation of carpools, vanpools, or buspools, the provision of transit routes, rideshare research, and the development of other demand management strategies such as variable working hours and telecommuting;
(15)(A) Records, the disclosure of which would compromise security against sabotage or criminal or terrorist acts and the nondisclosure of which is necessary for the protection of life, safety, or public property, which shall be limited to the following:

(i) Security plans and vulnerability assessments for any public utility, technology infrastructure, building, facility, function, or activity in effect at the time of the request for disclosure or pertaining to a plan or assessment in effect at such time;

(ii) Any plan for protection against terrorist or other attacks, which plan depends for its effectiveness in whole or in part upon a lack of general public knowledge of its details;

(iii) Any document relating to the existence, nature, location, or function of security devices designed to protect against terrorist or other attacks, which devices depend for their effectiveness in whole or in part upon a lack of general public knowledge; and

(iv) Any plan, blueprint, or other material which if made public could compromise security against sabotage, criminal, or terroristic acts.

(B) In the event of litigation challenging nondisclosure pursuant to this paragraph by an agency of a document covered by this paragraph, the court may review the documents in question in camera and may condition, in writing, any disclosure upon such measures as the court may find to be necessary to protect against endangerment of life, safety, or public property.

(C) As used in divisions (i) and (iv) of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the term “activity” means deployment or surveillance strategies, actions mandated by changes in the federal threat level, motorcades, contingency plans, proposed or alternative motorcade routes, executive and dignitary protection, planned responses to criminal or terrorist actions, after-action reports still in use, proposed or actual plans and responses to bioterrorism, and proposed or actual plans and responses to requesting and receiving the National Pharmacy Stockpile;

(16) Unless the request is made by the accused in a criminal case or by his or her attorney, public records of an emergency 9-1-1 system, as defined in paragraph (3) of Code Section 46-5-122, containing information which would reveal the name, address, or telephone number of a person placing a call to a public safety answering point, which information may be redacted from such records if necessary to prevent the disclosure of the identity of a confidential source, to prevent disclosure of material which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or persons, or to prevent the disclosure of the existence of a confidential surveillance or investigation;

(17) Records of athletic or recreational programs, available through the state or a political subdivision of the state, that include information identifying a child or children 12 years of age or under by name, address, telephone number, or emergency contact, unless such identifying information has been redacted;

(18) Records of the State Road and Tollway Authority which would reveal the financial accounts or travel history of any individual who is a motorist upon such toll project. Such financial records shall include but not be limited to social security number, home address, home telephone number, e-mail address, credit or debit card information, and bank account information but shall not include the user’s name;

(19) Records maintained by public postsecondary educational institutions in this state and associated foundations of such institutions that contain personal information concerning donors or potential donors to such institutions or foundations; provided, however, that the name of any donor and the amount of donation made by such donor shall be subject to disclosure if such donor or any entity in which such donor has a substantial interest transacts business with the public postsecondary educational institution to which the donation is made within three years of the date of such donation. As used in this paragraph, the term “transact business” means to sell or lease any personal property, real property, or services on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative in an amount in excess of $10,000.00 in the aggregate in a calendar year and the term “substantial interest” means the direct or indirect ownership of more than 25 percent of the assets or stock of an entity; or

(20) Records of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or of any other transit system that is connected to that system’s TransCard or SmartCard system which would reveal the financial records or travel history of any individual who is a purchaser of a TransCard or SmartCard or similar fare medium. Such financial records shall include, but not be limited to, social security number, home address, home telephone number, e-mail address, credit or debit card information, and bank account information but shall not include the user’s name.

(b) This article shall not be applicable to:

(1) Any trade secrets obtained from a person or business entity which are of a privileged or confidential nature and required by law to be submitted to a government agency or to data, records, or information of a proprietary nature, produced or collected by or for faculty or staff of state institutions of higher learning, or other governmental agencies, in the conduct of or as a result of, study or research on commercial, scientific, technical, or scholarly issues, whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or private concern, where such data, records, or information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted, or patented;

(2) Any data, records, or information developed, collected, or received by or on behalf of faculty, staff, employees, or students of an institution of higher education or any public or private entity supporting or participating in the activities of an institution of higher education in the conduct of, or as a result of, study or research on medical, scientific, technical, scholarly, or artistic issues, whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or private entity until such information is published, patented, otherwise publicly disseminated, or released to an agency whereupon the request must be made to the agency. This subsection applies to, but is not limited to, information provided by participants in research, research notes and data, discoveries, research projects, methodologies, protocols, and creative works; or

(3) Unless otherwise provided by law, contract, bid, or proposal, records consisting of questions, scoring keys, and other materials, constituting a test that derives value from being unknown to the test taker prior to administration, which is to be administered by the State Board of Education, the Office of Student Achievement, or a local school system, if reasonable measures are taken by the owner of the test to protect security and confidentiality; provided, however, that the State Board of Education may establish procedures whereby a person may view, but not copy, such records if viewing will not, in the judgment of the board, affect the result of administration of such test.

These limitations shall not be interpreted by any court of law to include or otherwise exempt from inspection the records of any athletic association or other nonprofit entity promoting intercollegiate athletics.
(c)(1) All public records of hospital authorities shall be subject to this article except for those otherwise excepted by this article or any other provision of law.

(2) All state officers and employees shall have a privilege to refuse to disclose the identity or personally identifiable information of any person participating in research on commercial, scientific, technical, medical, scholarly, or artistic issues conducted by the Department of Human Resources or a state institution of higher education whether sponsored by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or private entity. Personally identifiable information shall mean any information which if disclosed might reasonably reveal the identity of such person including but not limited to the person’s name, address, and social security number. The identity of such informant shall not be admissible in evidence in any court of the state unless the court finds that the identity of the informant already has been disclosed otherwise.

(d) This article shall not be applicable to any application submitted to or any permanent records maintained by a judge of the probate court pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129, relating to licenses to carry pistols or revolvers, or pursuant to any other requirement for maintaining records relative to the possession of firearms. This subsection shall not preclude law enforcement agencies from obtaining records relating to licensing and possession of firearms as provided by law.

(e) This article shall not be construed to repeal:

(1) The attorney-client privilege recognized by state law to the extent that a record pertains to the requesting or giving of legal advice or the disclosure of facts concerning or pertaining to pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the agency or any officer or employee; provided, however, attorney-client information may be obtained in a proceeding under Code Section 50-18-73 to prove justification or lack thereof in refusing disclosure of documents under this Code section provided the judge of the court in which said proceeding is pending shall first determine by an in camera examination that such disclosure would be relevant on that issue;

(2) The confidentiality of attorney work product; or

(3) State laws making certain tax matters confidential.
(f)(1) As used in this article, the term:

(A) ”Computer program” means a set of instructions, statements, or related data that, in actual or modified form, is capable of causing a computer or computer system to perform specified functions.

(B) ”Computer software” means one or more computer programs, existing in any form, or any associated operational procedures, manuals, or other documentation.

(2) This article shall not be applicable to any computer program or computer software used or maintained in the course of operation of a public office or agency.

(g) This Code section shall be interpreted narrowly so as to exclude from disclosure only that portion of a public record to which an exclusion is directly applicable. It shall be the duty of the agency having custody of a record to provide all other portions of a record for public inspection or copying.

(h) Within the three business days applicable to response to a request for access to records under this article, the public officer or agency having control of such record or records, if access to such record or records is denied in whole or in part, shall specify in writing the specific legal authority exempting such record or records from disclosure, by Code section, subsection, and paragraph. No addition to or amendment of such designation shall be permitted thereafter or in any proceeding to enforce the terms of this article; provided, however, that such designation may be amended or supplemented one time within five days of discovery of an error in such designation or within five days of the institution of an action to enforce this article, whichever is sooner; provided, further, that the right to amend or supplement based upon discovery of an error may be exercised on only one occasion. In the event that such designation includes provisions not relevant to the subject matter of the request, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees may be awarded pursuant to Code Section 50-18-73.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1967, p. 455, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 163, § 1; Code 1981, § 50-18-72, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 1789, § 1; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1090, § 2; Ga. L. 1987, p. 377, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 13, § 50; Ga. L. 1988, p. 243, § 3; Ga. L. 1989, p. 553, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 827, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 341, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1061, § 8; Ga. L. 1993, p. 968, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1336, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1669, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 704, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 6, § 50; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1052, § 2; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1652, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 552, §§ 4, 4.1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 809, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 1999, p. 1222, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 2000, p. 136, § 50; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1556, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 50; Ga. L. 2001, p. 327, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 331, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 491, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 820, § 13; Ga. L. 2002, p. 415, § 50; Ga. L. 2003, p. 602, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 880, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 107, § 22; Ga. L. 2004, p. 161, § 15; Ga. L. 2004, p. 341, § 1A; Ga. L. 2004, p. 410, § 9; Ga. L. 2004, p. 770, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 334, § 30-2/HB 501; Ga. L. 2005, p. 558, § 1/HB 437; Ga. L. 2005, p. 595, § 1/SB 121; Ga. L. 2005, p. 660, § 11/HB 470; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1133, § 1/HB 340; Ga. L. 2006, p. 72, § 50/SB 465; Ga. L. 2006, p. 536, § 1/HB 955; Ga. L. 2007, p. 87, § 1/SB 212; Ga. L. 2007, p. 160, § 1/HB 101.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-73

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-73  (2007)

§ 50-18-73.  Jurisdiction to enforce article; attorney’s fees and litigation expenses; good faith reliance as defense to action

(a) The superior courts of this state shall have jurisdiction in law and in equity to entertain actions against persons or agencies having custody of records open to the public under this article to enforce compliance with the provisions of this article. Such actions may be brought by any person, firm, corporation, or other entity. In addition, the Attorney General shall have authority to bring such actions, either civil or criminal, in his or her discretion as may be appropriate to enforce compliance with this article.

(b) In any action brought to enforce the provisions of this chapter in which the court determines that either party acted without substantial justification either in not complying with this chapter or in instituting the litigation, the court shall, unless it finds that special circumstances exist, assess in favor of the complaining party reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred. Whether the position of the complaining party was substantially justified shall be determined on the basis of the record as a whole which is made in the proceeding for which fees and other expenses are sought.

(c) Any agency or person who provides access to information in good faith reliance on the requirements of this chapter shall not be liable in any action on account of having provided access to such information.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-18-73, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 1789, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 243, § 4; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1061, § 9; Ga. L. 1998, p. 595, § 2.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-74

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-74  (2007)

§ 50-18-74.  Penalty for violations; procedure for commencement of prosecution.

(a) Any person knowingly and willfully violating the provisions of this article by failing or refusing to provide access to records not subject to exemption from this article or by failing or refusing to provide access to such records within the time limits set forth in this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100.00.

(b) A prosecution under this Code section may only be commenced by issuance of a citation in the same manner as an arrest warrant for a peace officer pursuant to Code Section 17-4-40, which citation shall be personally served upon the accused. The defendant shall not be arrested prior to the time of trial, except that a defendant who fails to appear for arraignment or trial may thereafter be arrested pursuant to a bench warrant and required to post a bond for his or her future appearance.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-18-74, enacted by Ga. L. 1999, p. 552, § 5.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-75

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-75  (2007)

§ 50-18-75.  Confidentiality of communications between Office of Legislative Counsel and certain persons

Communications between the Office of Legislative Counsel and the following persons shall be privileged and confidential: members of the General Assembly, the Lieutenant Governor, and persons acting on behalf of such public officers; and such communications, and records and work product relating to such communications, shall not be subject to inspection or disclosure under this article or any other law or under judicial process; provided, however, that this privilege shall not apply where it is waived by the affected public officer or officers. The privilege established under this Code section is in addition to any other constitutional, statutory, or common law privilege.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-18-75, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 243, § 5.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-76

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-76  (2007)

§ 50-18-76.  Written matter exempt from disclosure under Code Section 31-10-25

No form, document, or other written matter which is required by law or rule or regulation to be filed as a vital record under the provisions of Chapter 10 of Title 31, which contains information which is exempt from disclosure under Code Section 31-10-25, and which is temporarily kept or maintained in any file or with any other documents in the office of the judge or clerk of any court prior to filing with the Department of Human Resources shall be open to inspection by the general public, even though the other papers or documents in such file may be open to inspection.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-18-76, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 1943, § 1.

 

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-77

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2007 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current through the 2007 Regular Session ***

TITLE 50.  STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 18.  STATE PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
ARTICLE 4.  INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS

O.C.G.A. § 50-18-77  (2007)

§ 50-18-77.  Inapplicable to public records

The procedures and fees provided for in this article shall not apply to public records, including records that are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Code Section 50-18-72, which are requested in writing by a state or federal grand jury, taxing authority, law enforcement agency, or prosecuting attorney in conjunction with an ongoing administrative, criminal, or tax investigation. The lawful custodian shall provide copies of such records to the requesting agency unless such records are privileged or disclosure to such agencies is specifically restricted by law.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-18-77, enacted by Ga. L. 1999, p. 809, § 6.

 

 

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