Policy and Procedures for Access to Public Records

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    1. Wherever possible, public records will be made available on a self-service basis. This method allows the public to conduct their own research during Town business hours and to make their own copies on Town-provided equipment at a minimal cost.
    2. For records that are not readily available, written or on line requests for access/copies must be made to the custodian of said records on forms provided for that purpose by the custodian. The Town Clerk is the person designated as the custodian of the records.
    3. All requests must be specific in nature.
    4. In accordance with RI General Laws Title 38, Chapter 2 (Access to Public Records), the custodian of the requested record will, within a reasonable time, make the record available for inspection and/or copies. Failure to respond to a request within ten (10) business days shall be deemed to be a denial, except that, for good cause, this limit may be extended for a period not to exceed thirty (30) business days. (See item #10)
    5. Copies of written public documents will be made at a charge of fifteen cents ($.15) per page on 8.5" x 11" or 8.5" x 14" sized paper. Copies made on 11" x 17" paper may be charged at a slightly higher rate.
    6. Search and retrieval services shall be charged at fifteen dollars ($15.00) per hour, with no charge for the first hour. All other costs in connection with the production of public records shall be charged at the rate or cost billed to the Town.
    7. Whenever possible, the custodian shall provide a written estimate of the anticipated research time and copy costs.
    8. The estimated fees must be paid to the custodian prior to the start of the work by the Clerk or at the time of the request if made in person at the Town Hall, with any balance due payable prior to delivery of the copies to the requester. Excess payment will be refunded at the time of delivery of the results of the search.
    9. If the individual making the request wants only to view the record(s), the custodian will make an appointment for said inspection during normal Town business hours. The custodian will determine where the inspection will actually take place.
    10. Any denial of access or copies shall be made in writing within ten (10) business days of the request, except that, for good cause, this limit may be extended for a period not to exceed thirty (30) business days. The written denial shall provide specific reasons for the denial and indicate the procedures for appealing the denial.
    11. Any public information maintained within a computer system will be provided in printout form at a cost equivalent to the Town for materials and labor required to fulfill the request.
    12. This policy applies to all records maintained by the Town of Jamestown unless otherwise expressly provided by law.
    13. This policy was adopted by the unanimous vote of the Jamestown Town Council on September 22, 1997, in accordance with Section 802 of the Jamestown Charter, and revised as needed in compliance with RI General Laws Title 38 Chapter 2 (Access to Public Records).
    14. Click here to go to the on line Search Request form page or click here to download and print the Search Request form.