How to get Public Records from UO: Petition the Lane County DA

An anonymous reader has been trying for months to get some simple public records from UO. They filed the request with the UO Public Records Office, they eventually got an estimate of the costs, and they paid it. Their check was cashed by UO. Then they waited some more. Months more. They sent follow up emails to the PR Office. They waited more months. Nothing.

Finally they sent an email to Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow’s Office, petitioning the DA to order UO to produce the documents. A few days later the DA’s office emailed UO, ccing the requestor. They sent it on to me. I’ve redacted identifying info:

To: UO Public Records Office
From: Lane County District Attorney’s Office
CC: [redacted]
Date: February 25 2017

Attached you will find a scanned copy of an Appeal of a Public Records Request Denial filed by [redacted].  [Redacted] notes that the University has not explicitly denied [their] request, but because of the length of time that has transpired since [their] request and payment in full of the University’s cost estimate, [he/she] believes the University has effectively denied [their] request.  [He/She] notes [their] request was made [August 2016] with the University accepting her payment by cashing her supplied check [September 2016]. 

Could you please check in on the status of [their] request to determine if this is a matter that our office need issue an opinion?

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

UO then finally sent the documents.

I encourage others who have been frustrated by UO’s Public Records Office to use this petition process, which is described on the Oregon DOJ’s website here: http://www.doj.state.or.us/public_records/pages/orders.aspx

Petitions regarding the UO’s Public Records Office should be sent to the office of District Attorney Patty Perlow. This format seems to work fine:

Dear District Attorney Perlow:

On … I made a public records request to the University of Oregon Public Records Office. That request is appended below. 

On … I received a response from UO, also below, saying that they would charge me  $… for these documents. I sent payment on …, and according to my bank UO cashed that check.

On I sent UO a follow-up asking when I could expect the documents. I have not received any response. …

It has now been more than … weeks since I made this request.

As you know the Oregon DOJ believes that two weeks is normally sufficient time to produce public records. More than two weeks have now passed, and I therefore petition the DA to treat this delay as a denial, and order UO to produce these documents.

Thank you for your help with this matter, …

You can also petition UO’s refusal to waive fees in cases of public interest. The DA’s email is Patty.Perlow at co.lane.or.us 

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4 Responses to How to get Public Records from UO: Petition the Lane County DA

  1. Anas clypeata says:

    So assuming that the above story is as true and as simple as is stated above, the UO is currently in the business of wasting the hard-earned money of Lane County taxpayers? Hrm.

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    • charlie says:

      u of owe is in the business of wasting student tuition and taxpayer’s money. doing a bang up job of it, too….

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  2. C1133 says:

    btw — bad news. Just found out Diane Dietz has been given a pink slip by the Register-Guard.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Thanks, I heard. Working on a post. Bad news for UO.

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