Public records are documents created by a government agency or law enforcement officer. These documents might be records of marriages and divorces, criminal records, and records of the sale of land, businesses, or property. Public records are kept at the federal, state, and county levels, and can contain a range of information. What kind of information might be contained in public records? Here are a few:
- Birth and Death Records.
- Marriage and Divorce Records.
- Criminal Records.
- Property and Land Records.
- Government Records. These records can include details about public meetings, like town hall events, school district meetings, and other formal meetings of government representatives. However, certain types of government records, like records of ongoing criminal investigations may not be publicly available.
Public records are available to anyone who requests them. They are freely available to the public, journalists, and to any other interested person performing research. However, there may be cases where certain information may be exempt from public records requests. Often, this information is exempt to protect the privacy and identity of the person involved. Do you have questions about what information may be available in your public records? Legal Counsel, P.A. is a business law firm in Orlando, Florida that can perform a public records search to help you understand what information might be publicly available. If this information reveals personal details or if any of the information could qualify for a public records exemption, Legal Counsel, P.A. is a business law firm in Orlando, Florida that may be able to help you. A formal request to remove exempt information from public records can be done.
Public Records Exemptions
Some information may be exempt from public records. Certain individuals in certain types of jobs may be exempt from public records. Individuals who have been victims of crimes may also be exempt from having this information in public record to protect these individuals. Personal contact information of law enforcement officers, firefighters, attorneys, judges, and people in other specific professions may also be exempt from having their personal information listed in public records. However, the county, state, or federal government may be permitted to keep records of the officer’s performance, salary, and other job-related information as long as it doesn’t release private information.
Basically, public records can be kept confidential when this information must be kept confidential in the interest of public health, public safety, or personal privacy. What other types of information must be redacted from public records? This information includes:
- Social security numbers (with the exception of some commercial uses)
- Criminal intelligence records that might identify a victim of a crime
- Confessions to a crime are exempt from public records until the case is closed
- Identification of confidential informants is redacted from public records.
- Surveillance techniques are also redacted from public records
- Medical records
- Baker Act records
- Autopsy photos
If this information is revealed in your public records, you can request that this information be redacted. Do you have questions about how you can go about doing this, or have questions about what is available through a public records request? Anyone is permitted to make a public records request. Legal Counsel, P.A. is a business law firm in Orlando, Florida that can help you understand public records exemptions under the law. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
Protect Your Privacy
Individuals may want to protect their privacy by seeking public records exemptions for a number of reasons. For example, some people ask that their marriages remain confidential. Others may not want details of their divorce on the public record. If the details of a divorce reveal that a person or child has been a victim of violence, domestic violence, abuse, stalking, or another crime, aspects of the divorce may be permitted to be redacted from the public record. There are entire classes of public servants and officials who can also request that their phone numbers and addresses be redacted from public record. Who are these individuals? They include:
- Code enforcement officers
- Business regulators and inspectors
- Department of Children and Families personnel
- Department of Health personnel
- Department of Financial Services personnel
- Department of Revenue personnel
- Guardians ad litem
- Human resources or labor relations personnel
- Inspectors or auditors
- Probation officers
- Law enforcement officers
- Public defenders
- S. armed forces personnel
- S. Attorneys
- Child abuse victims
- Stalking victims
- Sexual battery victims
- Domestic violence victims
- Harassment victims
These are just some of the classes of workers that may be protected from having their personal information disclosed in public records. For businesses and for individuals, understanding what is on the public record can be important when protecting your rights and privacy. The business lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida can work with you to help you understand your rights. Contact us today to learn more and to protect your rights. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.