Right To Know

Pennsylvania codified a citizen’s right to access government records in Act 3 of 2008, called the Right to Know (RTK) Law. This law also established the state Office of Open Records. The law governs the release of records, not answering questions.  A record is defined as “any information regardless of its physical form or character that documents a transaction or activity of an agency and is created, received, or retained pursuant to law or in connection with a transaction, business or activity of an agency.”

Jackson Township provides open access to the public records of the Township in accordance with the Right to Know law. Citizens need only complete an RTK Request Form to receive a public record.  A request may be made in person or by mail, email, or fax.

Click here for the Right to Know Request Form – This can be linked to your Township’s form instead of the state form.

Right to Know requests can be submitted to Laurie Edson, Township Secretary, and completed forms may be submitted in person during normal office hours, or by email. If you are requesting hard copy there is a fee of $0.25 per page, which must be paid in advance.

Points of Common Request links
Board of Supervisor Meeting Minutes

Exceptions to the Right to Know

Exceptions: Certain Information Protected from Disclosure All agency records are subject to the Right-to-Know Law. However, not all records are public records. The law contains 30 exceptions, cited in Section 708, that permit an Agency to withhold records. An Agency may deny release of a record if it falls within one of the 30 exceptions designed to protect information that is confidential or may jeopardize safety or investigations. Types of records that can be withheld include records related to personal or public security, DNA/RNA records, autopsy records, Social Security numbers, personal financial information, personal email addresses, marital status, identity of a covert law enforcement officer, home address of judges or law enforcement, confidential source records, and victim information. Other laws also make certain records non-public. Exceptions are:

  1. i. Loss of funds and 1.ii. Personal security
  2. Public safety
  3. Infrastructure security
  4. Computer security
  5. Health records
  6. iA&B. Personal identification information; 6iC. Law enforcement/judicial security
  7. Personnel records
  8. Collective bargaining
  9. Drafts of bills etc.
  10. Internal predecisional deliberations
  11. Trade secrets
  12. Notes and working papers
  13. Donations
  14. Unpublished academic material
  15. Academic transcripts and exams
  16. Criminal investigative records
  17. Non-criminal investigative records
  18. 911 records
  19. DNA and RNA records
  20. Autopsy records
  21. i. Draft minutes and 21.ii. Executive session minutes
  22. Real estate appraisals
  23. Environmental reviews
  24. Audits / Evaluations
  25. Library circulation records
  26. Certain archived material
  27. Sensitive geographical sites
  28. Pre-award contract bids
  29. Insurance communications
  30. Social services
  31. Constituent letters
  32. Identity of minors

To appeal the response to a request or for information concerning Pennsylvania’s open records laws, please contact the state Office of Open Records:

Office of Open Records
333 Market Street, 16th Floor
Harrisburgh, PA  17126-0333
Phone 717-346-9903  *  Fax 717-425-5343

The township charges the fees listed in the Pennsylvania “Office of Open Records Official RTKL Fee Structure

Above is an example of what could be on a Right to Know webpage.

Information on the OOR Review of RTKL Request Webpages may be found at this link