Maine FOIA Laws

Maine Freedom of Access Act

The Maine Freedom of Access Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that he public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Maine. The act defines public records as, “any written, printed or graphic matter or any mechanical or electronic data compilation from which information can be obtained, directly or after translation into a form susceptible of visual or aural comprehension, that is in the possession or custody of an agency or public official of this State or any of its political subdivisions, or is in the possession or custody of an association, the membership of which is composed exclusively of one or more of any of these entities, and has been received or prepared for use in connection with the transaction of public or governmental business or contains information relating to the transaction of public or governmental business.”

Anyone can request public records and the law does not require a statement of purpose or restrict the use of public records. The Maine Freedom of Access Act does not specify a time limit with regard to positive request responses but a rejection must occur within five business days.

The Maine Open Meeting law, included in the Maine Freedom of Access Act,  legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. The act applies to all meetings where transactions that affect the citizens of the state have occurred. If violated, fines can be up to $500.

Maine Freedom of Access Act M.R.S.A. Title 1, Chapter 13.

Exempt in records: Certain law enforcement investigation documents; records of legislature; and university administrative committees.

Closed in meetings: Certain personnel matters; attorney consultations; and student disciplinary considerations.

Visit, Maine Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.