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Pennsylvania Police Footage

In Pennsylvania, access to police audio/video footage is governed by a separate public records statute called Act 22 of 2017.

How to File

  • File within 60 days of the date the recording was made

  • Requests must be submitted via personal delivery or certified mail

  • Must include the date, time and location of the event recorded

  • Must include a statement describing the requester's relationship to the event recorded

  • If the recorded incident took place inside a residence, the request must identify every person present at the time of the recording, unless unknown

The agency has 30 days to respond. If you agree to an extension, document it in writing!

If they deny your request or if you think the fees are unreasonable, you have 30 days after you receive the agency's response to appeal. You can also appeal the request as "deemed denied" if you don't hear back from the agency within 30 days.

How to Appeal

  • Do not appeal to the Office of Open Records, as they do not have jurisdiction over Act 22 cases

  • Appeal to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the recorded event took place

  • Call your appeal pleading a "Petition for Judicial Review"

  • Include a filing fee of $125

  • Include a copy of the written request and any written responses

  • Include proof that the agency's open records officer was served within five days of the filing of the petition

If the event recorded took place inside a residence, the petitioner must certify that the petition has been served on each individual present at the time of the recording, and on the owner/occupant of the residence, unless that information is unknown and not reasonably ascertainable.

Service is effective upon receipt from personal delivery or certified mail with proof of service.

This blog is not intended to be legal advice, as the analysis might change depending upon your specific situation. For additional assistance, reach out to Joy Ramsingh, at Joy Ramsingh is an open records, open meetings, appellate advocacy lawyer and the founder of Ramsingh Legal.

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