Public Records/FOIA Requests
Public records law, or Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, provides that any records made or received by any public agency in the course of its official business are available for inspection, unless specifically exempted by the Legislature. Over the years, the definition of what constitutes public records has come to include not just traditional written documents such as papers, maps and books, but also tapes, photographs, film, sound recordings and records stored in computers. This includes email correspondence.
If you would like to make a public records request, you may fill out the online request form below or you may call any county department. If you are unsure of the department responsible or have multiple requests, please contact the public records administrator at 850-595-4936.
When making a request, you will not be required to give your name or provide the reason for a request as a condition of fulfilling the request. Your request may be made by phone, letter or email. Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send your request electronically but make your request via phone.
When fulfilling a public records request, a fee may be charged if a request takes a substantial amount of staff time or county resources to complete. Florida public records laws state that requests for information must be filled in a reasonable amount of time. In addition to any fee estimates, county staff will give you an estimate of the time needed to gather the requested public records.
Florida public records law does have general exemptions for inspection or copying of public records. In addition, there may be other laws, including HIPAA and the Florida Emergency Telephone Act that may restrict or require the blackout of certain information before the record can be released. Questions about exemptions may be directed to the county attorney.