Local Government E-mail Retention

Freedom of Information, Open Records and Sunshine Laws


Increasingly, public agencies are required to search for and turn over e-mail records in response to freedom of information and open records requests.

Generally speaking, under either state or federal law, a freedom of information act requires government to disclose requested records to citizens. Sometimes a FOIA might be known as an open records act or a sunshine act.

One example: A Kentucky judge required state government to give a man copies of e-mails between his wife, a state employee, and another state employee whom the man suspected was having an affair with his wife. (Associated Press, “Judge: Ky. Man Can See His Wife's E-Mail,” Nov. 20, 2007.) Continue Reading