Open Records Request

Online Form for Open Records Request

DESOTO LAUNCHING NEW SYSTEM TO MORE EASILY & EFFICIENTLY PROCESS TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT (TPIA) REQUESTS

Beginning on March 1, 2024, the City of DeSoto will begin using a new open records request system to receive and more efficiently process your Texas Public Information Act (TPIA) requests.

DeSoto’s new JustFOIA system for open records requests will provide all users with a user-friendly interface that will make it easier to submit and track their public records requests online.

This will make it easier for the City to process TPIA requests and is likely to improve response times for requests that don’t require a detailed review.

The City of DeSoto welcomes the efficiency, transparency, and simplification of the open records request process that this new system will provide and will monitor its progress to ensure that requests are handled as efficiently as possible.

Use the following online form to make a public records request from the City of DeSoto under the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA): https://desoto.rja.revize.com/forms/6653

View the Texas Public Information Act Handbook from the Texas Attorney General’s Office: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/files/divisions/open-government/publicinfo_hb.pdf

View the Texas Public Information Act Made Easy publication from the Texas Attorney General’s Office which answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Act: www.desototexas.gov/OpenRecordsGuide 


Additional Resources
2024 Texas Public Information Handbook 
This link will enable you to view the actual text of the Act.

2022 Open Meeting Act Handbook
This link will enable you to view the 2020 Open Meetings Act Handbook.

Texas Public Information Act Made Easy 
This link will enable you to view a publication by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas that contains frequently asked questions about the Act.
 
Office of the Attorney General of Texas 
This link will take you the Attorney General's Open Government resource.


Alicia Thomas
City Secretary

Email
Phone: 972.230.9664




Document
   
Tachia Williams Mays
Assistant City Secretary

Email
Phone: 972.230.9646



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PUBLIC INFORMATION
WHAT IS PUBLIC INFORMATION?
Public information includes any information that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for a governmental entity, regardless of format.

As a governmental entity, the City is subject to the Public Information Act (the "Act") that is sometimes referred to as the Open Records Act. The City of DeSoto strives to keep open the lines of communication with its citizens.
WHAT ARE VITAL STATISTICS?
Vital Statistics can include Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Marriage Licenses, Divorce Decrees, Naturalization Documentation, Adoption Records, and Land Records. The City of DeSoto is not a repository for Vital Statistics. Records of this nature, for occurrences within Dallas County, are on file with the Dallas County Clerk's Office.
HOW DO I OBTAIN PUBLIC INFORMATION?
Requests must be in writing and include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the City to accurately identify and locate the information requested. Please note that the Act requires the City to provide copies of existing records, but does not require the City to create records that do not now exist, do any research or answer questions.
 
The request should also include the requestor's contact information: name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. It is important that the contact information provided is accurate to avoid delays. In some cases, the City may need to contact the requestor to clarify the request.

Large, time-consuming requests may require the City to contact the requestor and confirm applicable charges. An advance deposit may be required.  For more information on the Act, you may visit any of the links listed at above.

Requests may be submitted by any of the means listed. Note: If you choose to email your request, it will be directed to Alicia Thomas, City Secretary.

E-Mail:  City Secretary 
 
Online Form
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE PUBLIC INFORMATION?
The Public Information Act requires that the City promptly produce the public information and that requests must be accomplished in a reasonable time period. There is often a misconception that the records must be produced within ten (10) days. In some instances, records can be produced in less than ten (10) days, but in other cases, which entail producing a substantial number of documents, it may take several weeks. If it will take longer than ten (10) business days to provide requested records, the City must certify in writing to the requestor when (within a reasonable time) the information will be available.

The Act outlines in detail types of records that are prohibited or excluded from disclosure. If the City feels that the requested information falls within one of the statutory exceptions, the City must request a ruling from the Attorney General within ten (10) business days after the date the City received the written request. The Attorney General's office will then hand down an opinion on whether the information is to be released or withheld.