Maryland Public Information Act Requests

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Maryland Public Information Act Requests

The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) gives the public the right to review government records that are disclosable and to obtain copies of those records.  The MPIA applies to records for which the City of New Carrollton is the custodian. The MPIA attempts to balance the public’s right to view government records with other policies that respect the privacy or confidentiality of certain information.

Making a Request under the MPIA

Requests to view public records or obtain copies of public records must be made in writing using the City of New Carrollton Public Information Request Form and be sent or delivered to the City Clerk. 


The City has the right to charge reasonable fees to search for, prepare and reproduce public records in response to requests under the MPIA.  The City will notify you in advance of any charges.  Fees must be paid in full prior to the release of documents. No charge will be made for fees of $1.00 or less.  If a request is estimated to incur $100 or more in fees, a 50% deposit will be required.

Fees for processing time:  The first two hours of staff time expended searching for, preparing and/or copying records are free.  After the first two hours, a charge equal to the actual costs incurred by the City will apply.  Charges are based upon the actual time spent by each staff member at their hourly rate.   

Fees for copying or reproduction:  The first 20 pages of black and white photocopies (one-sided, 8½ x 11) will be free; additional pages will be billed at 25¢ per page.  Charges for color copies or larger pages will be made based on current costs at the time, as will charges to reproduce digital media. 

Time Limits

The MPIA allows up to 30 days for the City to respond to requests, but the City will respond more quickly if possible.  If the City cannot make the records available because they do not exist, because the City is not the custodian, or because they are not publicly disclosable, the City will give notification and an explanation in writing within 10 working days.   Furthermore, if the City reasonably believes that it will take more than 10 working days to produce the requested public record(s), the City will indicate in writing or by electronic mail within 10 working days after receipt of the request the amount of time that it anticipates it will take to produce the public record, an estimate of the range of fees that may be charged to comply with the request and the reason for the delay.

Any time during which the City cannot act because it is waiting for clarification or a response from you will not count toward the 30-day limit.  If the City needs additional time because of the nature of your request or of the records, staff will contact you to discuss an extension of time.

Waiver of Fees

The custodian of records may waive or reduce a fee if the applicant makes such a request and if, after the ability of the applicant to pay, and other relevant factors have been considered, the custodian of records determines that the waiver or reduction would be in the public interest.

Judicial Review of Denial

An applicant who is denied inspection of a public record may file a complaint in the Circuit Court in accordance with §4-362 of the MPIA.     

New Carrollton MPIA Request Form
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