When in doubt, a meeting or record of a public body should
be opened to the public.
The Sunshine Law applies to all records, regardless of
what form they are kept in, and to all meetings, regardless of the
manner in which they are held.
The Sunshine Law allows a public body to close
meetings and records to the public in some limited circumstances,
but it almost never requires a public body
to do so.
A public body generally must give at least 24 hours'
public notice before holding a meeting. If the meeting will be closed
to the public, the notice must state the specific provision of the
law that allows the meeting to be closed.
Each public body must have a written Sunshine Law policy
and a custodian of records whose name is available to the public
The Sunshine Law requires a custodian of records to respond
to a records request as soon as possible but no later than three
business days after the custodian receives it.
The Sunshine Law deals with whether a public body's records
must be open to the public, but it generally does not state what
records the body must keep or for how long. A body cannot, however,
avoid a records request by destroying records after it receives
a request for those records.
The Sunshine Law requires a public body to grant access
to open records it already has, but it does not require a public
body to create new records in response to a request for information.
When responding to a request for copies of
its records, the Sunshine Law limits how much a public body can
charge for copying and research costs.
There are special laws and rules that govern access
to law enforcement and judicial records.