NLCRPD Introduction to the Right-to-Know Law:
The NLCRPD adheres to the requirements of law and the best practices as recommended by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records in providing information to the public in response to a framework developed by the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.
The NLCRPD recognizes the Presumption of Openness Under the Right-To-Know Law, all records are presumed to be public records unless disclosure is barred by: (1) state or federal law or regulation; (2) judicial order; (3), privilege, e.g., attorney-client or doctor-patient; or (4) one of the exceptions in Section 708 of the Right-to-Know Law. The burden is now on the government agency to establish why the record is not available.
Citizens' Guide to the Right-to-Know Law and the Sunshine Act (updated Jan.8, 2021) The Mission of the Office of Open Records is to implement and enforce the state's Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) and serve as a source for citizens, agencies, public officials and members of the media in obtaining public records of their government. As part of that mission, the Office of Open Records has developed this Citizens' Guide to the RTKL, providing a basic overview. Agencies are to ensure that citizens are provided access to records to which they are entitled. Equally important, Requesters are to use good judgment in seeking records from the public body and not use this law to harass or overburden a public body from performing its other functions. The Office of Open Records encourages patience and a spirit of cooperation among all parties. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Office of Open Records at (717) 346-9903 or via email.
In the paragraphs within this section of the NLCRPD agency web page the NLCRPD endeavors to provide the information with assistive links to information and attachments containing the law, written findings, and other indices designed to provide the user with the best guidance possible to aid in completion of the right to know request. Exceptions: Certain Information Protected from Disclosure. All agency records are subject to the Right-to-Know Law. However, not all records are public records. The law contains 30 exceptions, cited in Section 708, that permit an Agency to withhold records. An Agency may deny release of a record if it falls within one of the 30 exceptions designed to protect information that is confidential or may jeopardize safety or investigations.
Types of records that can be withheld include records related to personal or public security, DNA/RNA records, autopsy records, Social Security numbers, personal financial information, personal email addresses, marital status, identity of a covert law enforcement officer, home address of judges or law enforcement, confidential source records, and victim information. Other laws also make certain records non-public.
An Agency has five business days to respond in writing to: (1) grant the request; (2) deny the request, citing the legal basis for the denial or partial denial; or (3) invoke a 30-calendar day extension for certain reasons. The clock starts the day after the RTK request is received during regular business hours. In other words, an agency has five business days to respond to a request, whether you place the request in person or by mail. Acceptable grounds for a 30-calendar day extension include: off-site location of records, staffing limitations, need for legal review or redaction, complex request, or the requester did not pay applicable fees as required or failed to follow agency policy.
It is important to the members of the Public and to the integrity and transparency of the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department that the public has several key understandings of the Right to Know Law (RTKL) and the easy negotiation of the process by those requesting information. RTKL OOR requests may be filed in a variety of ways, the easiest way is to file electronically using the drop-down tab at nlcrpd.org. This submission method provides direct submission of the request utilizing a resource email account that is directed to the AORO or their designee.
The NLCRPD is providing clearly identified Agency Open Records Officer (AORO) information below. The NLCRPD is providing the following information to assist persons filing RTKL requests with the agency:
If an agency does not respond to a request in the allotted time, the request is deemed denied, and you have the right to file an appeal with the Office of Open Records. This chart depicts the decision-making process and potential outcomes of those RTKL OOR requests filed with the NLCRPD
If an Agency denies a record, or a portion of a record, the requester has a right to file an appeal with the Office of Open Records.
The appeal must be submitted to the Office of Open Records within 15 business days of the mailing date of the Agency's response. Appeals should be sent to the Office of Open Records, 333 Market Street, 16th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2234. They may also be submitted via facsimile to 717-425-5343 or via email as a Microsoft Word or PDF attachment.
All appeals must be in writing and shall include the following information that may be submitted using the OOR's Appeal Form:
- A copy of the original Right-to-Know Request.
- A copy of the denial letter submitted by the Agency. (If the agency does not respond in writing within five business days, the request is "deemed denied" [i.e., automatically denied] and can be appealed.)
- State the grounds you believe the record is a public record - you must state why you believe the requested record is a public record - a general statement that the record is public under the Right-to-Know Law is insufficient.
- Address all grounds that the Agency raised in its denial - you must state why you believe each of the agency's denial, arguments, and exemptions are incorrect - a general statement that the agency is incorrect is insufficient.
The Office of Open Records is required to dismiss any appeal that does not include this information.
NOTE: Appeals which are filed by hard copy (i.e., by mail) MUST be submitted on 8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14-inch paper. Failure to submit hard copy appeals on 8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14-inch paper will result in the appeal being DISMISSED, unless the party filing the document specifically seeks and is granted permission to file non-conforming papers. Any other documents filed in an appeal should be filed on 8 ½ x 11 or 8 ½ x 14-inch paper to the extent possible.
When the Office of Open Records receives the appeal, it has 30 days from the date of receipt of the appeal to issue a Final Determination.
The Office of Open Records may conduct a hearing (which is a non-appealable decision) or an in camera review. It may decide the case on the basis of the information filed with the Office. It may seek additional information from the involved parties. In most cases, the Office of Open Records will issue a Final Determination based on information and evidence provided to our Office without conducting a hearing.
When the Office of Open Records issues a Final Determination it is binding on the Agency and requester. If the Agency or the requester wants to appeal the ruling of the Office of Open Records, the appeal must be filed with the appropriate court within 30 calendar days of the mailing of the Final Determination by the Office.
If the parties appeal a Final Determination to Commonwealth Court or a Court of Common Pleas, the Right-to-Know Law requires that the Office of Open Records be served notice of the appeal.
- Contact information for the open-records officer is identified as:
Open Records Officer
Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department
860 Durlach Road
Stevens, PA 17578
- Contact information for the Office of Open Records or other applicable appeals officer.
Office of Open Records
400 North Street
Harrisburg , PA. 17120
- A form which may be used to file a request.
See drop down menu
- Regulations, policies and procedures of the agency relating to this act:
See PDF File Attachment of NLCRPD Policy 4.11.1 – RTK Compliance
See PDF File Attachment's Below: