National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

North Dakota FOIA Laws

North Dakota Open Meetings Statute

The North Dakota Open Meetings Statute legislates the method by which public meetings are conducted. A meeting is any gathering of quorum of the members of a public body, whether it be in person or through electronic means, in order to discuss and decide on public business. The act also includes all meetings of less than a quorum if the public body holds a series of similar gatherings so that the attendance at the series constitutes a quorum of members. If violated, courts may void any action taken during the meeting, award attorney fees and issue fines of up to $1,000.

Open Meetings Law NDCC 44-04-19 et seq.

Closed: Attorney consultations during pending litigation; non-renewal hearings between school board and teacher; juvenile proceedings; and hiring/firing of college or university personnel and presidents by the State Board of Higher Education.

North Dakota Open Records Statute

The North Dakota Open Records Statute is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies. North Dakota law defines records as, “recorded information of any kind, regardless of the physical form or characteristic by which the information is stored, recorded, or reproduced, which is in the possession or custody of a public entity or its agent and which has been received or prepared for use in connection with public business or contains information relating to public business.”

Anyone can request public records and no statement of purpose is required. There are no restrictions placed on the use of records nor is a response time specified.

Open Records Statute NDCC 44-04-18 et seq

Exempt: Juvenile records; trade secrets; public employee medical and assistance records; workers compensation; unemployment; tax information; law enforcement investigation records; and most Department of Human Services records.

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