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Union Fire District of South Kingstown


ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS ACT PROCEDURE

R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-2 et seq.

The Union Fire District of South Kingstown (UFD) is committed to providing the public with access to public records under R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-2. The UFD provides documents to the public in the ordinary course of business. Any person who wishes to request a public record should complete a “Request for Records under the Access to Public Records Act” form, which is available at the District offices for all requests. Completion of this form is not mandatory but is used to facilitate the request. In the event a requestor does not wish to complete the form, a verbal request may be made of the custodian of the records.

Pursuant to R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-3(d), the Union Fire District Board of Wardens has established the following procedure regarding access to public records:

  1. Please inform the designated official that you wish to make a request for public records. Requests can be made District offices from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (District offices are closed on Holidays).
  2. The designated official will provide you with a form to complete, which permits us to know the precise public documents you seek and assists us in processing your request in an expeditious manner.
  3. The Access to Public Records Act, R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-3(e), grants a public body ten (10) business days to respond to a public records request. The Act further provides that for good cause, a public body may submit a written request for an extension of up to twenty (20) business days to process the request. We appreciate your understanding and patience.
  4. Costs. The Access to Public Records Act provides the requestor the opportunity to view and/or copy public records. Should a copy be requested, the cost per copied page of written public documents is fifteen cents ($0.15) in accordance with R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-4 for documents copied on common business size (letter or legal) paper. You may elect to obtain public records in any and all media in which we are capable of providing them. The Act permits a reasonable charge for search and retrieval of documents. The hourly costs for a search and retrieval shall be fifteen dollars ($15.00) per hour, with no charge for the first hour. Upon receipt of a request, the UFD will provide an estimate and should the estimate be agreeable to the requestor, a detailed itemization of the costs charged for search and retrieval will be provided upon completion.
  5. Public Records. A “public record” is defined as “documents, papers, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency”, as set forth under R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-2(4).
  6. Redaction. Although a document may constitute a public record, there may be some information contained therein that may be redacted/deleted as it may be exempt from disclosure under R. I. General Laws Section §38-2-2.
  7. Exemptions. The Access to Public Records Act exempts a variety of records from public disclosure, as set forth in R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-2(4).
  8. Appeal of Denial. Any person or entity denied the right to inspect a record of a public body may petition the District Administrator and or Chairman of the Board of Wardens for review of the decision denying the request. Any petition from a denial should be addressed to the District Administrator, Union Fire District, 131 Asa Pond Road, Wakefield, RI 02879. A final determination of whether to allow public inspection will be made within ten (10) business days after the submission of the petition, as set forth in R.I. General Laws Section §38-2-8.
  9. Complaint to the Attorney General. If the District Administrator and or Chairman of the Board of Wardens determines the record is not subject to public inspection, the person or entity seeking disclosure may file a complaint with the Attorney General, 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903, Telephone (401)274-4400, or may retain private counsel for the purposes of instituting proceedings for injunctive or declaratory relief in the Superior Court of Washington County.
  10. The Union Fire District of South Kingstown is committed to providing you with public records in an expeditious and courteous manner.