April 30, 2017, 1:34 am
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General Information About Georgia Public Records and Laws
The Georgia public records available to individuals and businesses can help to provide information or other data to those in need. These public records are available through the Georgia Open Records Act. This act defines what constitutes a public record and lists any type of exemptions that may apply for those areas. According to the state, this includes all types of media that fall under specific guidelines, including documents, tapes, books, emails and other aspects. These records are available for both inspection and for copying by the citizens of the state, as defined by the law.
What Types of Records Are Available?
The Georgia Annotated Code, Sec 70 to 77 provides that all non-confidential government records are to be made available to the public during normal working hours. The public has the right to both obtain copies of the records or to examine them. However, there are some restrictions. Information that could be used against another person, or that would be construed as an invasion of privacy does not warrant the availability of public records. This information also excludes any government information considered sensitive.
The following are examples of Georgia public records that are accessible to the general public. This information is not an exhaustive list.
·         Criminal records searches
·         Data regarding vital statistics such as birth and death certificates, burial information and marriage certificates
·         Property records including ownership, transfer of property, mortgages held against property and taxes
·         Civil court proceedings
·         Criminal court proceedings
Other data may also be available. In addition, all city, state and county governments must provide detailed records of all meetings and communications to the general public. However, any information that may put others are risk is not a part of this inclusion. Individuals will need to petition the courts for release of sensitive governmental information.
Where to Get It
To gather the Georgia public records information, individuals will need to seek out the right agency to gather the information from. That data will change depending on what type of information the individual is after. Numerous departments and government offices in Georgia now allow for an online, searchable database of information, but this is not always available. Rather, it is important for individuals to visit the local offices to gather these public records. If after searching online an individual cannot find the information needed, the following departments may provide additional help.
·         For any public record information regarding legal organizations or businesses within the state, the Attorney General's office offers archived information.
·         For accident reports and driving records, the Department of Transportation GDOT offers records.
·         For vital records, including birth and death certificates, individuals should seek out the Department of Human Resources Vital Records.
·         Criminal records searches are conducted throughout the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Georgia public records information provides access to important details. Individuals should verify the accuracy of any information gathered before using it as factual data. In most cases, this information is from trusted agencies and organizations.
 
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