Access to Public Records
PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST PROCEDURES
The Town of Smithfield (“Town”) is committed to providing the public with access to public records, while protecting from disclosure information about individuals that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Written or oral requests for access to public records should be made to the Smithfield Town Clerk at the Smithfield Town Hall, 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, Rhode Island during regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To reach the Town Clerk’s office by telephone, please call (401) 233-1000.
Pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act, the Town has established the following procedures regarding requests for access to public records:
1. Written Request. Please inform the Town Clerk or designee that you wish to make a request for public records. If you would prefer to make your request in writing, you can use the Town’s written request form or your own form. You may request that copies of public records be provided in any and all media the Town is capable of producing (including electronically, by facsimile or by e-mail).
2. Request Form. If you wish, the Town Clerk or designee will provide you with a form to complete, which lets the Town know the precise public documents you seek and assists us in processing your request in an expeditious manner. The form is also located at the linked Public Records Request Form & Procedures. You are not required to provide personal identification or the reason you seek the public records, and your right to access public records will not depend upon providing identification or reasons.
3. Response. If the public records are readily available, we will be more than happy to provide them. However, there are times when the records will not be available at the time that you make the request. If the records are not readily available, they can be viewed at the Town Hall at a later time, or copies can be mailed, e-mailed or sent by facsimile to you, or you can pick up the copies on a designated date. The Access to Public Records Act grants a public body ten (10) business days to respond to your request. The Act further provides that this limit may be extended for an additional twenty (20) business days for good cause. We thank you in advance for your understanding if it is necessary to request this extension. Improper release of certain information could result in the unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or compromise the personal safety of your fellow citizens, so we must review documents to prevent such harm.
4. Costs. The Access to Public Records Act gives you the opportunity to view and/or copy public records. The cost per copied page of written public documents is $.15 per page for documents copyable on common business or legal size paper, except for Land Evidence and similar documents which are regulated by different laws. The Act permits a charge of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) per hour for search and retrieval of documents, with no charge for the first hour. We will provide you with an estimate of copying and retrieval costs, if you so request.
5. Appeal of Denial. If you feel that you have been denied access to public records, you have the right to file a review petition with the Smithfield Town Manager. If you are still not satisfied, you may file a complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General and/or file a law suit in Superior Court.
We hope that these procedures have been of assistance. The Town is committed to providing you with public records in an expeditious and courteous manner. Thank you.
* The linked Public Records Request Form & Procedures can be printed out and submitted to the Town Clerk’s office, 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917. The form is also available at the Clerk’s office.
Contracts run concurrent with the fiscal year – July 1 through June 30
- Fraternal Order of Police – 2013-2016
- International Association of Firefighters – 2013-2016
- International Association of Firefighters – 2011-2014
- Town Hall Employees – Laborers International – 2014-2017
- Police Civilian Employees – Laborers International – 2014-2017
- Public Works Employees – Laborers International – 2014-2017