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Right To Know Policy

The following information is included on the City’s website to meet the posting requirements for municipal websites. This information is also posted at City Hall per State requirements.

The City of Coatesville designated Ruthann Mowday as its Open Records Officer, and the City of Coatesville Police Department designated Kelly  Ohar as its Open Records Officer. The Open Records Officer(s) may be reached at:

Ruthann Mowday
One City Hall Place
Coatesville, Pa 19320
Telephone: 610-384-0300
Fax: 610-384-3612
admin@coatesville.org

Kelly Ohar
Coatesville Police Department
One City Hall Place
Coatesville, PA 19320
Telephone: 610-384-4635
Fax: 610-384-1921
mcdkel@coatesville.org

The Open Records Officer

  • Receives requests submitted to the City of Coatesville;
  • Directs requests to other appropriate persons within the City of Coatesville;
  • Tracks the City’s progress in responding to requests;
  • Issues interim and final responses relevant to the request under the Right-To-Know Act.
  • Immediately refers all requests for criminal investigation records under the Open Records Act to the Open Records Officer of the Coatesville Police Department.

General

All documents deemed public records are available for inspection, retrieval, and duplication at City Hall during established business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) with the exception of weekends and holidays. The City of Coatesville shall not be required to create a record which does not currently exist or be required to compile, maintain, format or organize a record in a manner in which the City of Coatesville does not currently compile, maintain, format or organize the record.

Reguest Form

  • Pennsylvania’s Standard Right-To-Know Request Form; Right to Know

For additional information on the Right to Know act visit the Pennsylvania Open Records website.

Requests

Requests shall be made in writing to the City’s Open Records Officer on the form provided above.

Fees

Fees shall be in accordance with the fee schedule (below) and may be amended from time to time by Resolution of Coatesville’s City Council.

Response

The City of Coatesville shall make a good-faith effort to provide the requested public record(s) as promptly as possible. The Open Records Officer(s) shall cooperate with those requesting records to review and/or duplicate original City’s documents while taking reasonable measure to protect City’s documents from the possibility of theft, damage, and/or modification.

The Open Records Officer shall review all written requests for access to public records. As soon as possible, but no later than five business days after receiving a written request to access public records, the Open Records Officer shall respond to such requests in writing consistent with Act 3 of 2008, the Right-to-Know Law. If access to a record is denied, the response shall include a reason for denial as stipulated in Act 3 of 2008, the Right-to-Know Law. Form response letters granting the request, denying the request, and granting the request in part and denying the request in part are attached to these policies.

Contact Information for Appeals

If a written request is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file an appeal in writing to:

Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, Plaza Level
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

Appeal Forms

 

Appeals Process

An appeal must be filed within 15 business days of the mailing date of the City’s response or within 15 business days of a deemed denial. The appeal shall state the grounds upon which the requester asserts the record(s) is (are) a public record and shall address any grounds stated by the City for delaying or denying the request.

Fee Schedule

  • Copies: 25¢ per page (A “photocopy’ is either a single-sided copy or one side of a double-sided black-and-white copy of a standard 8.5’ x 11’ page) 25¢ per page
  • Certification of a Record: $1 per record, not per page. Please note that certification fees do not include notarization fees.
  • Specialized Documents: Actual Cost For example, but not limited to, blue prints, color copies, non-standard sized documents
  • Facsimile/Microfiche/Other Media: Actual Cost
  • Redaction Fee: No Redaction Fee May be imposed

Note: Beginning January 1, 2011, the Office of Open Records will streamline its notification of pending appeals to both agencies and requestors.   The OOR will send  one letter that will notify the parties of the pending appeal and inform them of the record close date.  In the past, this information was sent in two separate letters.

The Parties will still have seven (7) business days from the date of the letter to make submissions to the OOR if they so choose. The name of the appeals officer and contact information for the assigned appeals officer also will be attached to that letter.

The timeframes for a response to an appeal and the statutory requirements remain the same.

Conversion to Paper

If a record is only maintained electronically or in other nonpaper media, duplication fees shall be limited to the lesser of the fee for duplication on paper or the fee for duplication in the original media unless the requester specifically requests for the record to be duplicated in the more expensive medium.

Postage Fees

Fees for postage may not exceed the actual cost of mailing.

Statutory Fees

If a separate statute authorizes the City of Coatesville to charge a set amount for a certain type of record, the City may charge no more than that statutory amount.

Inspection of Redacted Records

If a requester wishes to inspect rather than receive a copy of a record and the record contains both public and non-public information, the City shall redact the nonpublic information. The City may not charge the requester for the redaction. However, the City may charge for the copies it must make of the redacted material in order for the requester to view the public record. The fee structure outlined above will apply. If, after inspecting the records, the requester chooses to obtain the copies, no additional fee will be charged.

Fee Limitations

Except as otherwise provided by statute as noted above, no other fees may be imposed unless the City of Coatesville necessarily incurs costs for complying with the request, and such fees must be reasonable. No fee may be imposed for the City’s review of a record to determine whether the record is a public record, legislative record or financial record subject to access in accordance with the Right-To-Know Act. No fee may be charged for searching for or retrieval of documents. The City may not charge staff time or salary for complying with a Right-To-Know request.