Right To Know Request

  1. Purpose

The purpose of this general order is to establish guidelines necessary for the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office to comply with the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act.

  1. Policy

It shall be the policy of the Sheriff’s Office to comply with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act (Act 3 of 2008), 65 P.S. Sections 67.101, et seq.

  1. Procedure

  1. The Sheriff’s Office shall comply with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act (Act 3 of 2008), 65 P.S. Sections 67.101, et seq.  (PLEAC 4.11.1a), (4.11.1c,4)
  2. The Sheriff shall be designated as the Opens Records Officer to assure compliance with this policy and disseminate records to the public appropriately. In the absence of the Sheriff, the Chief Deputy shall handle the duties of the Open Records Officer. (PLEAC 4.11.1b)
  3. Requests for public records are available, with the appropriate fee in person from the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, excluding holidays or extenuating circumstances. Records may also be requested by email, fax or mail with the appropriate fee included.
    1. All records requests shall be made on the Sheriff’s Office Right to Know Request Form.
  4. Under the “Right to Know Law,” investigative reports are exempted from the definition of a “public record,” therefore any such request will be denied.
  5. Criminal History information is not accessible under the “Right to Know Law.”
  6. Unless a charge of juvenile delinquency is transferred for criminal prosecution under section 6355 of the Juvenile Act, or the court otherwise orders, the records and files of a juvenile shall not be open to public inspection, or their contents disclosed to the public.
  7. All personal information, such as dates of birth and/or social security numbers from all persons mentioned in any records shall be redacted by the Sheriff’s Office to help eliminate the possibility of identity theft.
  8. The Open Records Officer will make a good faith effort to determine if the record(s) requested is a public record and respond appropriately within five (5) business days after the date of the initial request.
  9. If a request for records is granted, the following fee schedule will apply:
    1. Incident Reports – $0.25 per page
    2. Specialized Documents (Blueprints, etc.) – Actual Cost
    3. Postage Fee – Actual Cost
    4. Records Certification – $1.00 per record
  10. There shall be no limitation on the number of public records which may be requested or made available for inspection or duplication. Fees will be assessed on a per copy basis.  (PLEAC 4.11.1d,1)
    1. There shall be no requirement to disclose the purpose or motive in requesting access to records which are considered public.  (PLEAC 4.11.1d,2)
  11. Exception – Incident reports, photographs and other investigative information may be released to other law enforcement agencies upon approval from the shift supervisor or a detective. The Office’s Right to Know Request Form need not be completed for these instances.
  12. If a records request is denied, any fee collected shall be returned to the requestor. The requestor shall be informed of the reason for the denial and of the appeal process.
  13. This general order shall be posted for public view in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office as well as being posted on the County’s website along with the following:  (PLEAC 4.11.1c)
    1. Contact information for the Sheriff’s Office open-records officer: 

(PLEAC 4.11.1c,1)

Bucks County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Open Records Officer
100 North Main Street, B2
Doylestown, PA  18901
Phone#:  215-348-6124

  1. Contact information for open records appeals:

(PLEAC 4.11.1c,2)

Bucks County District Attorney’s Office
Attn: Open Records Appeal Officer
100 North Main Street, 2nd Floor
Doylestown, PA  18901
Phone#  215-348-6344

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA  17120
Phone#  717-425-5343

  1. A copy of the Sheriff’s Office Right to Know Request Form.  (PLEAC 4.11.1c,3)