Frequently Asked Questions

Public Records

Q1: What are public records?

According to N.C. General Statute 132, public records are all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. For more details, click on https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByChapter/Chapter_132.html


Q2: What records are not public records?

Exemptions are listed in the Public Records Law, N.C. General Statute 132: https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByChapter/Chapter_132.html.


Q3: What if I only have a question or want general information?

General questions or requests for information are not typically Public Record Requests. The City of Fayetteville is not required to create new records, collect or analyze information, or conduct legal research under the N.C. Public Records Law.  If you have general questions or would like more information about the City of Fayetteville that you can’t locate from our website, call (910) 433-1710.


Q4: How do I request a copy of a public document?

On our Transparency & Accountability webpage, click on Request a Public Record; then click on the link for a City, Police or Fire record; then click Make Request and type in what record you are requesting. 


Q5: What are the benefits of using Next Request, the online records request tool? 

As public record requests continue to increase and become more complex, the City of Fayetteville, its Police Department and its Fire Department will begin receiving and processing public record requests using a new tool called Next Request.

Next Request provides a more reliable and simpler online public record request process, eliminating the need for requests to be sent via email or through PDF forms. It also allows requests to be tracked and ensures they will not get missed or overlooked.

And the best part is that requestors can now download their documents as a PDF from their own Next Request online portal. This feature allows easy transfer of larger files and eliminates the hassle of receiving CDs via snail mail.

There is also a “Records Available Online” button on the Transparency & Accountability webpage where users can view and download documents that are already available. Additionally, as a record request is being made, if the document is already available, a clickable link will pop up in a yellow bar at the bottom of the request box, and instructions to view already available documents are included at the right of the Make Request page in a gray box.

All of these features will not only make the entire process easier for the requestor, but will allow City staff to more efficiently and effectively fulfill each request — no matter how complex.


Q6: When will I receive a response to my public record request?

You will receive a response within a reasonable amount of time.

The City will respond in one of several ways:

  • Provide the records (or a link to the portion of our website that contains the records).
  • Request clarification.
  • Provide a reasonable estimate of time that it will take to produce the records (if the documents are not readily available).
  • Give you estimated timeframes for delivery of large requests. The City may have to produce the records on a partial or installment basis. The City will also provide the estimated timeframes for each incremental delivery as we work through your request.
  • Deny the request in whole or in part when legal exemptions apply. The City may either withhold the requested records or redact the exempt documents and will include an explanation of reasons for the exemption.


Q7: Is there a fee?

There is no fee for public records that are provided electronically or for the in-person inspection of public records. However, there are fees for public records copied onto CDs, DVDs or paper, which include:

  • Public Record Copies
  • Reproduction on CD or DVD ($1.00 per CD or DVD)
  • Paper Copies (up to 8.5 by 14 inches)
  • Single-sided black and white $0.05 per page 
  • Single-sided color $0.19 per page 
  • Double-sided black and white $0.09 per page 
  • Double-sided color $0.37 per page 


Q8: Why does the City of Fayetteville make public records available online?

Making information available via Internet access saves City of Fayetteville taxpayers money and time in many ways, including:

  • Residents do not have to go to a City office to obtain information.
  • Maintenance of physical records is greatly decreased.
  • Business and community organizations have on-demand access to information.
  • Fewer staff members are needed to provide on-site service.
  • The City of Fayetteville seeks to balance public privacy concerns with prevailing public information laws; therefore, we have established a position that adheres to State and federal laws governing the retention, disclosure and security of public information.