Indiana Open Door Law
The Indiana Open Door Law legislates the methods which public meetings are conducted. A meeting is defined as a gathering of a majority of the governing body of a public agency for the purpose of taking official action upon public business. Exemptions include social or chance gatherings, on-site inspection, meetings organized by other parties which are devoted to better governments, caucuses, discussions of commercial prospects that do not include decisions, orientation or training for new public officials, or administration of the oath of office.
Violation of the Indiana Open Door Law can void any action taken at the meeting. The individual must file suit within 30 days of the realization of the violation or prior to any bonds have been issued.
Open Door Law I.C. §§5-14-1.5-1 et seq.
Closed: Numerous exemptions including: Collective bargaining, litigation strategy, and certain real estate transactions.
Indiana Access to Public Records Act
The Indiana Access to Public Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. Public records are defined as essentially any information created, maintained or filed by government agencies. Exemptions include trade secrets, confidential information received upon request, academic research, licensing information, medical records, anything declared exempt by the Supreme Court, autopsy photos or videos, social security numbers, law enforcement investigations, attorney information, personal files of employees, names of charitable donors, security measures for telecommunications, schools, and general infrastructure, correctional officer information, complaint information within law enforcement agencies, contact information for utility employees, or labor negotiations.
Any person can request public records in Indiana and no request may be refused due to a lack of statement of purpose. Record cannot be used for commercial purposes except if it is news publications, academic research, or non-profit organization activities that are using the information. The Indiana statute allows for seven days to acknowledge Indiana Access to Public Records Act requests if the request is mailed or sent by facsimilie or email. “If a requestor is physically present in the office of the public agency or makes a request by telephone or requests enhanced access to a document, the public agency must respond to the request within 24 hours after any employee of the agency receives the request.” (From Indiana’s Public Law Access Handbook)
Access to Public Records Act §§5-14-3-1 et seq.
Exempt: Trade secrets; university research; and certain educational and medical records. Discretionary exemptions include: Personnel files; diaries; journals; and personal notes.
Visit, Indiana Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.