Maryland Public Information Act Request
April 23. 2020: The legal time requirements for the City’s response to requests under the Maryland Public Information Act are temporarily suspended until thirty (30) days have elapsed from the expiration of the State of Emergency and public health catastrophe, as determined by Governor Hogan.
Maryland’s public information act ordinarily requires the City to respond to requests for public information records within ten (10) days, if there are no responsive records, or thirty (30) days, if responsive records exist. These time requirements are hereby suspended.View the notice in full.
How to Request City Information
The Maryland Public Information Act enables people to have access to government records without unnecessary cost or delay.
The City's Public Information Act Custodian is City Clerk, Laura Reams. Ms. Reams can be reached at 301-985-5009, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail at 4310 Gallatin Street, 3rd Floor, Hyattsville, MD 20781.
City documents that are designed for public use, and certain other documents designated by the City, are maintained online and may be provided to members of the public promptly without requiring that the applicant make a formal request. These include:
- Copies of the City Code
- Standard Forms
- City policies
- Resolutions and Ordinances
- City Council Meeting Materials - Agenda, Agenda items and Non-confidential supporting material
- Annual Operating and CIP Budget and financial reports
- Documents designed to be provided to the public
- Documents available on the City's website.
Please comply with the following procedure when making a request for public documents:
- All requests must be made in writing and addressed to the Hyattsville City Clerk. An email request is acceptable and responses may be provided via email if requested, provided that the file size does not exceed 25MB. If response via email is not requested or if the document file exceeds 25MB, all documents pertaining to the request will be mailed via US Certified Mail to the requester.
- The request should be as clear and detailed as possible. For example, it should include the specific date and/or time frame(s), the subject and/or document names, and specific addresses, when relevant. Staff may ask questions of the requestor to help clarify the request.
- The City will provide copies of documents requested. However, the City is not obligated to do research or conduct investigations.
- The response of the City to Public Information Act requests will be provided as soon as possible and except in unusual circumstances, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the request
- If, upon initial evaluation of the request, it is determined that it will require more than ten (10) working days to produce the public record, the City Clerk will provide notification in writing or by electronic mail 1) the amount of time it is estimated to take to produce the public record, 2) an estimate of the range of fees that may be charged, and 3) the reason for the delay. If it is anticipated that the charge will be in excess of $100, you will be notified and required to pay in advance of receipt for the information.
- Denials: If there is a denial of any information, the City Clerk must notify the party within 10 days. Any denial shall contain 1) the reason for the denial, 2) legal authority for the denial, 3) a brief description of the undisclosed record sufficient to enable the applicant to assess the applicability for the denial, and 4) notice of the remedies available for review of the denial.
- If more than two (2) hours of staff time is required to gather and copy requested information, the City may charge a reasonable administrative charge for the additional hours. Staff time may be prorated for each individual employee's or agent's salary and actual time attributable to the search for and preparation of the records in question. While the City is allowed to charge for the Attorney's time as well, the City policy is not to charge for attorney time either for routine requests or for those requests wherein no more than 30 minutes of Attorney time is required.
- The first 20 document pages provided are free. The additional per-page copy charge is $0.25.
- Payment of fees shall be made in cash or check payable to the "City of Hyattsville" and must be received before the documents are released. The State of Maryland Public Information Act Compliance Board can hear claims brought by any requestor alleging unreasonably high fees, if the cost exceeds $350.