Is there a public record for sheriff reports?


Quick Answer

Sheriff's reports are public records in the United States. Because sheriff's reports are written reports that are kept in the course of a government agency's functions, the sheriff's department must produce a copy of the report upon request.

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Full Answer

There is no central repository for law-enforcement records, but the Freedom of Information Act requires each sheriff's department and other government agencies to disclose writings, such as sheriff's reports, or other records if a person asks them to and pays for copying costs.

There are exceptions to the Freedom of Information Act requirements, so the sheriff's department might black out information that relates to a person's private medical information or information that gives the identity of a crime victim. The sheriff's department might also refuse to release a report if the investigation is ongoing.

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