Updated access handbook available free

Handbook on Indiana’s Public Access Laws

The updated Handbook on Indiana’s Public Access Laws is now available free to HSPA-member newspapers.

The 64-page booklet lists the Open Door Law and Access to Public Records Act. It also includes explanations of the two public access statutes, information on the Indiana Public Access Counselor and a sample letter for making records requests.

The new booklet includes changes made this year by the state legislature, including the provision for civil fines that can be levied by a judge who finds that violations of public access laws were deliberate.

The fine for a first offense is up to $100, and a repeat offender can be fined up to $500.

HSPA Foundation approved a $2,000 grant to help pay for printing of the 64-page booklet.

The copy is written and edited cooperatively by Public Access Counselor Joe Hoage; Matt Light and Anne O’Connor, both deputy attorney generals in the office of Attorney General Greg Zoeller; and HSPA executive director and general counsel Steve Key.

The Foundation will not charge members for copies of the handbook.

The printing was done by EP Graphics, which also produces the Berne Tri-Weekly News in northeast Indiana.

In addition to HSPA Foundation, the Public Access Counselor’s office, the Attorney General’s office and the Indiana Coalition for Open Government will have hundreds of copies available for distribution.

If your newsroom would like copies of the new handbook, contact Shawn Goldsby at sgoldsby@hspa.com or (317) 803-4772 to request them.