Rule 4-202.06. Response to request to access or classify a court record.

Intent:

To establish the steps required for responding to a request.

Applicability:

This rule applies to requests to access or to classify a court record other than a motion under Rule 4-202.04.

Statement of the Rule:

(1) The court shall take all steps necessary for responding to a request for records as soon as reasonably possible. The judge presiding over a trial may withhold the names of jurors for up to 5 business days after trial.

(2) The person to whom a written request is submitted shall respond within 10 business days, or within 5 business days if the request demonstrates that:

(2)(A) an expedited response benefits the public rather than the requester; or

(2)(B) the record is for a story or report for publication or broadcast to the general public.

(3) If a requester claims the request qualifies for an expedited response, the person to whom the request is submitted shall, within five business days after receiving the request, respond to the request or notify the requester that they have not demonstrated that the request benefits the public rather than the person and that the response will not be expedited.

(4) The person to whom the request is submitted shall respond by:

(4)(A) providing the record;

(4)(B) denying the request; or

(4)(C) notifying the requester that the court does not maintain the record and providing, if known, the name and address of the governmental entity that does maintain the record.

(5) Under extraordinary circumstances, the person to whom the request is submitted may respond by identifying the circumstance that prevents the request from being timely approved or denied and the estimated date when the final response will be made. The following constitute extraordinary circumstances:

(5)(A) another governmental entity is using the record;

(5)(B) the request is for a large number of records;

(5)(C) the court is currently processing a large number of requests for records;

(5)(D) the court must locate the records;

(5)(E) the court must separate records that the requester may access from records the requester may not access;

(5)(F) the court must provide notice of the request to a person whose interests are protected by closure; or

(5)(G) the court must seek legal advice on whether to allow access.

(6) A written request to access a court record or to classify a court record as private or protected is deemed denied if the initial response is not mailed within 10 business days after receiving the written request or the final response is not mailed within the time estimated in the initial or subsequent response.

(7) The response shall be mailed to the requester. If the request is denied, the response shall:

(7)(A) describe the record or portions of the record to which access is denied in a manner that does not disclose information other than public information;

(7)(B) refer to the authority under which the request is being denied;

(7)(C) make findings and conclusions about specific records;

(7)(D) identify and balance the interests favoring opening and closing the record; and, if the record is closed, determine there are no reasonable alternatives to closure sufficient to protect the interests favoring closure;

(7)(E) state that the requester may appeal or seek judicial review; and

(7)(F) state the time limits for filing an appeal or petition for judicial review and the name and address of the person to whom the appeal or petition must be directed.

(8)(A) If the request is to access an adoption record, the person to whom the request is submitted shall respond by providing only the case number.

(8)(B) If the request is to access a sealed record or a record in which the name of a person is the interest protected by closure, the person to whom the request is submitted shall respond, without indicating whether the record exists, that such records are not accessible.

(8)(C) If the request is to access a record of a Children’s Justice Center investigative interview, the person to whom the request is submitted shall follow the procedures in Section 77-37-4.

(9) The court shall retain custody of and keep safe any record to which access is denied until the period for an appeal has expired or the appeal process has concluded.

(10) A document required to be sent by mail may be sent by email, fax or hand-delivery.