North Carolina FOIA Laws

North Carolina Open Meetings Law

The North Carolina Open Meetings Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. An official meeting is any gathering of a public body to discuss or decide upon public business. This includes communication via any electronic means. Social meetings and informal assemblies are exempt. If violated, the court may void any action taken or discussed during the meeting if the suit was filed within 45 days of the disclosure of the violation.

Open Meetings Law Chapter 143 – Article 33C North Carolina General Assembly

Closed: 7 exemptions including: Attorney consultation; employee matters; and certain real estate transactions.

North Carolina Public Records Law

The North Carolina Public Records Law is designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in North Carolina. The first statute was passed in 1935. Records include all documents, no matter the physical form, “made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency.”

Anyone can request public records and no statement of purpose is required. There are no restrictions placed on the use of records and there is no time limit for a response. Section § 132-6 of the North Carolina Public Records Law states that a custodian of public records shall make them available “at reasonable times and under reasonable supervision by any person, and shall, as promptly as possible, furnish copies thereof upon payment of any fees as may be prescribed by law.”

Public Records Law Chapter 132 – North Carolina General Assembly

Exempt: Confidential legal communications;  criminal investigations; and intelligence information.

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