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DHR Open Records Policy

The Iowa Department of Human Rights is committed to providing assistance to those seeking access to open public government records created by or in the lawful and physical custody of our agency.   This policy is intended to exemplify Iowa Code Chapter 22 and other applicable laws.

You may submit a request for public records by contacting our agency’s Public Information Officer at (515) 242-5640 or sonya.streit@iowa.gov.  Requests may be made in person, in writing, by telephone, or by e-mail.  Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, excluding state holidays.  We are located at the Lucas State Office Building, 321 E. 12th St., Des Moines, IA 50319.

You may also submit a request and access the State of Iowa’s Open Records Portal.  Before making a request, please use the Open Records Portal to determine if the information you seek is already publicly available.

When submitting a new request for public records, please be as specific as possible with your request.  For example, “I would like copies of all correspondence between [specific individuals] about [specific subject] from [start date] to [end date].  We will follow up as necessary to ensure you receive what you are seeking.

You can generally expect the request to be completed within ten business days, depending on the size and nature of the request.  If the request will take longer than ten days, we will notify you.

Please refer to the following guidelines regarding process and fees:

  • All expenses associated with the records request shall be paid by the person submitting the request.
  • We will provide an estimate of all costs and obtain your authorization before fulfilling your request. If the estimated total fee exceeds $25, you may be asked to pay in advance before we start to work on it. 
  • The first hour to search the records and conduct a review is free of charge.  This initial review may include determining if any documents contain confidential information or if some information needs to be redacted.  Any additional staff time beyond one hour will be charged at a rate of $40 per hour.
  • The first ten copied/scanned pages of records are free of charge.  Any additional pages are 10 cents per copy/scan. 
  • The open records request process and fees are separate from search requests for justice data.  The public may access juvenile justice aggregate data at https://juvenilecourtstats.iowa.gov and adult criminal court data at https://disposedcharges.iowa.gov.   Please contact the agency’s Public Information Officer about submitting a justice data request.