Public Records Denials

62 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2017 Last revised: 16 Jun 2018

Chad G. Marzen

Florida State University

Date Written: July 29, 2017


Transparency and openness in our national, state and local governments is a cardinal principle in our democratic system. Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act has been the primary applicable law which enables citizens to obtain public information from executive branch agencies of the federal government. Essentially every state also has a freedom of information act, public records law, or similar law which allows citizen access to public documents and records.

A largely unexplored area of the academic literature involving freedom of information laws relates to the sanctions or penalties which may exist for noncompliance. This Article advocates for changes and revisions to existing state laws to provide for more stringent penalties in the event a public records request is knowingly denied. Enhanced penalties and legal consequences for improper public records request denials are critical to ensure open and transparent access to public information.

Suggested Citation

Marzen, Chad G., Public Records Denials (July 29, 2017). New York University Journal of Law & Liberty, Volume 11, Number 3, pgs. 966-1027 (2018). Available at SSRN: or

Chad G. Marzen (Contact Author)

Florida State University ( email )

College of Business
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

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