How to Request Public Records

Requests for public records must be in writing, signed by the person making the request, and mailed or presented in person to a clerk on duty at a Justice Court office.

We do not accept requests by fax or email, with limited exceptions for requests from certain business or government customers that have established a business relationship with the Justice Court.

We are not the custodian of records held by federal courts, circuit courts, municipal courts, tribal courts or justice courts in other counties.

When We Receive Your Request

When we receive your request, we will determine whether the Justice Court is the custodian of the requested record. We will notify you whether we have all, some, or none of the requested documents within 5 court days of receipt of the written request.

  • State law requires us to make available for inspection or to copy only those records that exist at the time of the request. We will not provide copies of records on a continuing basis. You must make a new request for records created after the earlier request.
  • State law does not require us to create new public records to respond to a request.
  • State law does not require us to create new information using our computer programs or to create a new program to extract data in our computers in a manner you request.
  • State law does not require us to develop or acquire new or additional software or programs to retrieve information you request.
  • State law gives priority to our regular duties. It does not require us to provide records by a deadline you set. We process requests in the order we receive them. We try to respond promptly, but state law does not require us to interrupt our regular duties to respond to records requests. Staffing shortages and other circumstances or research requirements may delay a response. We will notify you that we have received your request and give you an estimated time if fulfilling your request will take longer than 20 business days.
  • State and federal law require or allow us to keep some information and records confidential.
  • State law allows us to take reasonable measures to protect our records. It also restricts who may remove court files from the office of the clerk or court administrator. We therefore require that we supervise inspection of our records for requestors who want to inspect records rather than have us copy them first. We charge for staff time to supervise inspection. For some types of records (e.g., digital recordings of court proceedings or documents with some information that is exempt from disclosure), we will make a copy available for inspection as needed to protect the original and to protect confidential information.  The charge for this service is $32.00 per hour to the nearest 1/10th hour. You must appear at a time, date and place set by the court to appear and inspect the records requested.

Fees

The court will provide you with a written estimate of costs if they will likely be more than $25.00.  The court will not proceed further until you confirm in writing that you want the court to proceed and payment is made and clears in advance.  The court will refund any excess over actual costs.  If costs are underestimated, the court will inform you as soon as possible so you can determine whether you want the court to continue working to respond to your request.  The search fee is the courts hourly cost to the nearest 1/10th hour. In this Court that cost is $32.00/hour.

In addition, state law requires us to charge;

  • $3.75 to locate a particular file
  • $0.25 per page (a double-sided copy is two pages) for each page copied.

State law requires us to charge for certifying that a copy of a document is a true copy. If you request a certified copy, we charge

  • $3.75 for each official certificate.

Harney County policy requires us to charge $32.00 per hour to the nearest 1/10th hour to locate records that are not directly related to a particular identified file

Required Information

To help us find records that respond to your request, your request must identify as specifically as possible the following:

  • type of record(s)
  • subject matter
  • approximate dates(s) we created or received the record
  • names of people named in the record or who created or received the record
  • the number of copies you request for each record requested
  • which copies, if any, you want us to certify Your request must also include your:
  • name and signature
  • address
  • telephone number where we can reach you during business hours
  • email address, if possible

If your request is not specific enough for us to easily identify and locate the records you want or is very broad (and therefore costly), we may call or write you for more information or clarification so that we can keep your cost and our cost reasonable.

PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST FORMS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE COURT OFFICE or by FOLLOWING THIS LINK.