“Records,” as used in this part, shall be construed to mean any records of the county legislative body and common law, circuit, criminal, or chancery court, the register's books, the surveyor's and entry taker's book, and all other public records, required by law to be kept in the several courts of this state.
What records are covered?
Records in the possession of public agencies in Tennessee are open to perusal by the public unless they are specifically exempted by statute or case law. Records are defined as any documents, no matter the physical form which are "made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency".
and reams of
None-the-less, Tennessee requires that exempt and non-exempt material be separated, when found in the same source, and that the non-exempt materials are released.
What agencies are covered?
Tennessee law includes all government branches at both state and local governmental levels. Non-profits are also included in the Open Records Act.
Who may request records?
The law states that any citizen of Tennessee may request public records there. Public documents shall "be open for personal inspection by any citizen of Tennessee." However, recent federal court rulings have overturned similar state specific statutes and opened up records in these states to all United States citizens.
Must a purpose be stated?
Tennessee law does not require a statement of purpose. However, Wilson County does require this in some instances.
Tennessee allows 7 days to respond to records requests.
Fees for records
Reasonable fees may be charged for requested copies of records but not merely to view the records.