General Information About Indiana Public Records and Laws
Indiana public records are available to individuals who have a vested interest in the information. The state provides specific rules on what public records are, how they are accessed by the public and what information is considered private and confidential. The Indiana Open Records and Open Doors Laws, IOR or IOD laws, provide for these requirements. The Open Doors law requires that all meetings related to government actions be open to the public.
What Is a Public Record?
Under Indiana law, a public record is any type of study, map, report, car, tape recording or other material created, maintained or generated by a public agency. This includes both electronic and printed material and data. Most data from any public activity or agency will be included in this information. However, the state and other government agencies do have the right to limit access to this information if there is a reason to do so, such as the individuals involved are minors. The following are some of the exemptions to the Indiana public records laws.
·Any record that would place personal privacy at risk, or that is otherwise produced under law, is protected. This includes all data from schools, medical institutions and personal identification
·Any records regarding an open investigation or information that would, in some way, damage or endanger the safety of victims, investigators or any of the investigated privacy
·Any records that could limit or hinder a government agency from operating or otherwise could endanger people or the state
In most other cases, though, public records do remain available. In order to receive any type of public record, the individual should request it, in writing, from the appropriate agency. This includes all government records including meeting minutes or government policies. In other cases, common records remain easier to obtain.
Finding Your Records
Indiana public records provide key information that people often need on a regular basis. When this is the case, the first step for the individual is to turn to the appropriate agency and to request information. The state requires these agencies to be available to individuals making this request, though only during normal business hours. Not all records are available for immediate use, though.
The following types of public records are available more frequently and readily.
Public records about property transfers, taxes and liens
Documents indicating vital statistics including birth and death certificates, burial records and marriage licenses and divorce decrees
Most civil and criminal case outcomes and other information from court records
To obtain these types of documents, individuals can turn to agencies such as the following, though they may also be available online.
Business documents and records are available from the Attorney General's Office in Indianapolis.
For vital records, contact or visit the State Department of Health Vital Records Office.
Criminal records are available for background checks through the Indiana State Police, Criminal History Records.
The Indiana public records are only authenticated when they come directly from the appropriate organization.
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