MOHAVE COUNTY AND THE ARIZONA PUBLIC
Both Arizona Statutes and case law define
public record issues, and both may change
from time to time. The following is
provided for guidance for those who desire
to obtain public records from Mohave County.
1. What is a Public Record?
The Arizona Public Records Law applies to
all documents in the custody of public
officers, who are obliged to “make and
maintain records reasonably necessary to
provide knowledge of all activities they
undertake in furtherance of their duties.”
However, not all documents are covered. The
fact that writing is in the possession of a
public officer or public agency does not
make it a public record. A public officer
must generate or use a record in a capacity
related to the duties of his office for that
record to be a “public record.” ARS §
2. Public Records of any officer are
open for review during regular office hours.
That includes information in various formats
including computer tapes, email
communications, video and audio tapes as
well as other documents and forms.
Exceptions include confidentiality and
privacy in the best interests of the state,
statutes, administrative rules and orders.
The public’s right to review a public
document is “weighty in itself” according to
case law. This means that there is a strong
presumption in favor of the public unless
there is a specific demonstration how the
disclosure would harm the interests of
privacy, confidentiality, or the best
interests of the state.
3. Who may request records?
Any person may request records. The purpose
of the request is relevant only in a
difference between a private use and a
commercial use. Requestors seeking records
for non-commercial purposes can be charged
only reasonable fees for the actual
reproduction of the records, but not for
cost of research or locating the records.
Commercial requests may be charged for
research of other costs. Refer to ARS §
39-121.03B for more on commercial purposes.
4. When must records be provided?
With reasonable promptness and that is
dependent upon the facts surrounding the
request, such as location or means of
storing. Reasonable also means that public
business not be disrupted. However, if
records are available for reproduction or
review, they must be provided and/or
reasonable access allowed. There is no
legal obligation to create new data, perform
research projects, perform data analysis,
create new report formats, provide legal
advice, convert data to different mediums or
formats, nor perform custom programming.
5. How to Obtain Public Records.
By law, requests for records should be
directed to the records custodian, who
maintains custody of documents. The law
allows for written requests for commercial
and non-commercial matters. Written
requests should be drafted as narrowly as
possible, identifying the documents to be
reproduced or reviewed as specifically as
6. Mohave County policy requires a
written request for public records.
Why? Written requests avoid conflict of
meaning or errors prone to oral
communication. Also a clear documentation
and audit trail of custodian receipt and
response can be maintained. Written
requests can expedite responses.
Additionally some requests, especially oral,
may not make it to the correct custodian, or
to the proper authority empowered to direct
and ensure compliance with the request. In
summary, written notification is reasonable
and used in the interest of carrying on
government business as efficiently as
possible without interference, and with a
minimally intrusive impact on the right of
access. Record requests become themselves a
7. Anyone who desires a public record
from Mohave County can do so easily by using
the Mohave County Request for Information
Form (Updated 12/20/04).
The form may be requested from the County
Managers Office or may be downloaded from
the Mohave County Website by
clicking here or entering
in your browser
The form is simple, and to the point. The
requestor should provide an original, signed
form. When the signed original is received,
it will be assigned to the proper records
custodian, and when the record is available,
the requestor will be notified of its
availability. If reproduction is requested,
payment for the reproduction will be
required, $ .20 cents per page. If personal
review is requested, the requestor will be
advised of availability.
If you are requesting a copy of a police
report from the Mohave County Sheriff's
click here for the
Should you have questions or difficulty
downloading the form, please direct your
inquiries to the Mohave County Manager’s
Office. The phone number is: 928.753.0729