Sunshine Week: How to get public records

SAN DIEGO - It's time to shine a bright light on our governments and celebrate those that are transparent with its constituents.

Sunshine Week 2014 kicks off this week and people around the country are recognizing the campaign, including reporters at 10News.

Sunshine Week turned into a week-long campaign in 2005 after the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors launched Sunshine Sunday in 2002 in response to Florida lawmakers attempting to pass about 300 exemptions to open government laws.

The campaign, which was officially launched by the American Society of News Editors and funded with a grant from the Knight Foundation, "seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their governments at all levels."

10News reporters have filed countless public records for stories that ultimately benefit the audience.

Here are just three recent stories where public records were cited:

You can file your own public records request at all levels of the government. Here's how:

Federal Level

Records can be found through the National Archives at Archives.gov/

To find court records, visit USCourts.gov

State Level

The state offers public records for all departments online at Ca.gov

To request records that aren't available online, you can follow these guidelines offered by the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

County Level

The County offers public records online at SDCounty.ca.gov.

Public records can also be requested through the County Clerk.

City Level

Each of the 18 incorporated cities have City Clerks who are responsible for processing public records requests. Click on each of the cities for information on contacting its Clerk.

For more information about Sunshine Week, visit Sunshineweek.rcfp.org/

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