Requests for access to records pursuant to FOIA may be refused by federal agencies if information requested is subject to exemption, or some information may be redacted deleted.
There are many degrees of accessibility to public records between states, with some making it fairly easy to request and receive documents, and others with many exemptions and restricted categories of documents. One state that is fairly responsive to public records requests is New York , which utilizes the Committee on Open Government to assist citizens with their requests.
Public access to arrest and booking records is seen as a critical safeguard of liberty. With the advent of the Internet and the information age, access to public records in the United States to anyone who wishes to view them has dramatically increased.
What is an electronic court record?
Third parties such as the information broker industry make regular use of public records to compile readily accessible profiles on millions of people, and may make a profit from the service of recompiling and mining the data. Public record data is used for multiple purposes, such as ensuring that child support payments are made as determined by the courts,  assisting credit bureaus in keeping accurate data  and helping to pay pension benefits to retirees.
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Individual criminal histories are generally considered to be public records in the United States and are often accessed via criminal history background checks , but "access and use of FBI -maintained criminal history record information has been traditionally limited and controlled in large measure to protect the privacy of the individuals to whom the records pertain. According to the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press , in the United States, arrest records "are generally open to the public unless they concern an active or ongoing investigation.
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A few states restrict the information that can be obtained from an arrest record, especially when it concerns individuals who were never charged, were acquitted or had their records expunged. Again, the determination will often result in a balancing test comparing the public's interest in disclosure against the individual privacy interest. In early , the National Archives put up a webpage, "Unauthorized Disposition of Federal Records," to publish all instances of investigations into possible unauthorized destruction of records.
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How Do I Access Court Records? | Ontario Court of Justice
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