Act 3 expands the definition of "public record," making all records public - both electronic and hard copy - with 30 listed exemptions (such as records dealing with building security, personal safety, medical records, confidential personnel records and criminal investigations). Act 3 requires that municipalities designate an official Open Records Officer to accept written requests from the public and to ensure compliance with timelines and the law.
The fee for dissemination of any and all accident reports will be $15.00 each.
Accident reports that are either reportable by Pennsylvania standards or non-reportable accidents may be released to any involved party submitting a request. The maximum fee allowable for accident reports is set by statute, contained within the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
All other requests for reports will be handled in accordance with the Pennsylvania Open Records Law, Act 3 of 2008. Fees for other records include the following:
Duplication/Photocopies $0.25 per page
Duplication of Specialized Documents Actual Cost
Certification of Public Records $1.00 per record
Mailing Fees Actual Cost
Facsimile/Microfiche/Other Media Actual Cost
Additionally, a form that can be used for submitting a request is available. The Open Records Officer for the Muhlenberg Township Police Department is:
Monna Somerday, Officer Administrator
Muhlenberg Township Police Department
210 George St. Reading, PA 19605.
Phone: (610) 929-5454
Additional information, including a copy of the open records law and a Citizen's Guide to the law, can be found at the PA Office of Open Records website. The PA Office of Open Records can be contacted at:
State Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, Plaza Level
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225
Phone: (717) 346-9903
Also, the PA Freedom of Information Coalition publishes a Quick Guide to aid in understanding the law.
Be advised--under the Right-to-Know Law, investigative reports are exempted from the definition of a public record. As such, any request for an investigative report will be denied. Criminal history information is not accessible under the Right-to-Know Law, but may be obtained through the submission of a Request for Criminal Record Check, Form SP 4-164, which is available on the Pennsylvania State Police website.
Appeals of denials based on a requested record being an investigative report can be directed to:
Office of the District Attorney
Services Center, 5th Floor
633 Court Street
Reading, PA 19601
Phone: (610) 478-6000