Legal advice – HOW NOT to do public records requests!

This skit was produced by a city attorney for their clients to know how not to handle public records. At the end of the video you’ll see the attorney correct the actions in the video.

If you had trouble in Florida – send this to their clerk or other person who failed to give you records according to law 🙂


1. You do not need to provide a reason
2. You do not need to provide ID
3. You do not need to fill out a form.
4. You can do it in writing, orally, electronically etc. smoke signals if they can decipher it.
5. Records may come with a fee.

** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **

Author: rafael.nieves


29 thoughts on “Legal advice – HOW NOT to do public records requests!

  1. This video is a great asset for those requesting documents through the Freedom of Information Act, Sunshine Laws, etc. I would only request that it would help if we knew what statutes state that we can be anonymous, and all other points outlined in this exercise. Thanks for a great video

  2. ‘That’s the city policy.’ The city policy was purchased from some university professor for big bucks and these purchased policies are for the sole purpose of preventing the people access to what is rightfully theirs.

  3. I wish it were that easy…. they put you through a full obstacle course before they even start to help you with your request. All US Citizens need to keep all of our government officials accountable. They are not our leaders, they are our elected representatives to speak in our behalf, not to rule, govern or harass. Love that we can really now film these folks, get rid of qualified immunity and keep us all on an even playing field.

  4. First step.
    Record your interaction in that public accessible area of the public official in the course of their duties.

    Second step.
    Carry a copy of the law with you and quote it in your recording to the person.

  5. Request to observe, and video while observing all responsive records that fit in the subject matter.
    This will stop redaction. If they want redaction they will make their own copys and redact.
    You cant be held responsible to pay for their need for redaction.
    Just roll tape on a screen or stack of papers at 0$ cost to you , then cherry pick the important stuff

  6. I need to request records in the state of Pennsylvania. I got stopped yesterday at my local small community city park by the police. Somebody called and complained about me taking pictures at the city pool of one of those water dump buckets. The complainant/s supposedly told dispatch that I was taking pictures of kids, yada, yada.

    When the police made contact with me they tried to act stupid at first until they realized I was educated. The stupid ass police chief tried insinuating that I was a child predator and got aggressive with his voice (and he was 3rd on scene.) There was one decent officer that is the k9 handler that was on my side the entire time for the most part.

    I got caught off guard by the stop and didn't think at first to start recording as the department in my area still doesn't have body cams. I think it would have made a good video, but I don't make videos to put online.

    Now I'm hesitant to go into the park, especially that area (without my own body cam), because people are ignorant as hell and don't agree with or understand the Bill Of Rights and the Constitution.

    I'm debating on how I want to proceed with records requests, because I want everything these obscurantist's have regarding the call for service. The 911 call to county dispatch, the incident report, I'm not sure what else to ask for?

    If you read this long msg could you possibly respond with an email you would be comfortable with me contacting you at.

    I've never requested any records before, so I'm unsure how my city officials will be to deal with. Any help, tips, advice, etc you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    After I get what I want from that call for service I'm going to start doing my own investigation into the department. I'm going to request so many records that they won't have time to mess around with calls about people taking pictures in the public park.

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