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Oklahoma 1999 OK AG 58 Open Records Act Other applicable opinions
1. The Oklahoma Open Records Act applies to criminal pleadings
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2. Courts and District Attorneys must provie "prompt reasonable access" 3. District Attorneys must maintain confidential records
¶15 It is, therefore, the Opinion of the Attorney General that: 1. The pleadings in a criminal case, particularly the information, are "records" within the meaning of the Oklahoma Open
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Records Act, 51 O.S. 24A.3 (1998). A court clerk must make such pleadings available for public inspection and copying once the district attorney has filed the pleading with the court clerk, 51 O.S. 24A.5 (1998), unless the pleading has been sealed by a court or is protected by a privilege of confidentiality, such as the confidentiality of a grand jury indictment by 22 O.S. 385, until such time as the order of the court expires or is removed and until the grand jury indictment is made public pursuant to statutory provision. A district attorney may keep information contained within the district attorney's litigation files confidential and so not disclose an information or other pleadings. See 51 O.S. 24A.12 (1991). 2. A court clerk or district attorney has no authority to withhold public records from inspection and copying. Such officers must provide "prompt, reasonable access" to the public pursuant to 51 O.S. 24A.5 (1998). This generally may include only the time required to locate and compile such public records. Id. 3. A district attorney may keep confidential records contained in the litigation files of that office. Police departments are not required to provide public access to records of the police department except as provided in Section 51 O.S. 24A.8 of the Open Records Act or pursuant to court order. Neither a district attorney nor a police department must make available for public inspection and copying a record which includes a list of all charges contained in an information. See 51 O.S. 24A.2 - 51 O.S. 24A.8 and 51 O.S. 24A.12 (1998).