Open Records Request
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What is a Public Record?
The Texas Public Information Act is designed to give the public access to records in the possession of public agencies. A public information request must be in writing to the governmental body you believe maintains the information. However, your written request needs to be for information already in existence. A governmental body is not required to answer questions, perform legal research, or create new information in response to your public information request.
What is a Public Records Request?
A public records request is a request to either inspect or copy or both, public records pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act (ACT) which gives the public the right to request access to government information. The ACT is triggered when a person submits a written request. The person making the request is not required to identify himself/herself, or to provide information about the reason for the request or how the records will be used. The request must include information that will allow the governmental agency opportunity to contact the requestor to ask questions about the request in order to respond to the request fully and in a timely manner, and the request must be clear enough to enable the City to conduct a meaningful search. The City may ask questions about the request in order to respond to the request fully and in a timely manner. The City of Deer Park acknowledges that access to information is a fundamental and necessary right of every citizen of Deer Park.
Where can I request a Public Record?
Requests for public records may be submitted to one of the following:
- Email the Police Department, by fax 281-479-4372, in person (2911 Center Street), or by submitting the Online Police Records Request Form.
- Municipal Court by fax 281-478-7290, in person (1302 Center Street) or by submitting the Online Court Public Records Request Form.
- All other departments by fax 281-478-7217, in person (710 East San Augustine Street) or by submitting the Online Public Records Request Form.
Please note that the City does not have copies of birth or death certificates or marriage license or divorce decrees. Please contact Harris County main number 713-755-6438 for this information.
Some public records are already provided for the public on the City of Deer Park website and are immediately available for viewing and downloading.
How much will it cost?
The City of Deer Park chooses to charge $.10 a page if the request includes the reproduction of more than 25 8x11 sized sheets to complete the request. If the files are available electronically and the requestor asks for electronic copies, there is no charge for those files if sent electronically via email or shared file.
From the Office of Attorney General - If a governmental body estimates that charges will exceed $40.00, the governmental body is required to provide the requestor with a written itemized statement of estimated charges before work is undertaken. The statement must advise the requestor they may contact the governmental body if there is a less costly method of viewing the records. The statement must also contain a notice that the request will be considered automatically withdrawn if the requestor does not respond in writing within ten business days of the date of the statement that the requestor: (a) accepts the charges, (b) modifies the request in response to the estimate, or (c) has sent, or is sending, a complaint regarding the charges to the attorney general. If the governmental body has the ability to communicate with the general public by electronic mail and/or facsimile, the statement must also advise the requestor that a response may be sent by either of those methods, as well as by regular mail or in person.
Fees for disclosure of public records are determined as outlined by the guidelines established by the Office of Attorney General, Title 1, Part 3, Chapter 70-Cost of Copies of Public Information. As stated in Code of Ordinance Article VI - Division 2 -Section 2-234. - Public records fee: The City of Deer Park shall charge fees for public records request in accordance with chapter 552 of the State of Texas Government Code. (Ord. No. 3763 , § I, 11-17-2015).
Records Management Officer
The city has appointed the City Secretary to serve as the Records Management Officer. The Records Management Officer ensures that all records in the possession of and pertaining to the operation of the governmental body are available to the public through a systematic and centralized process.