Public Records / Laserfiche
CUSTODIAN OF PUBLIC RECORDS:
Rafael E. Granado, City Clerk
1700 Convention Center Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Telephone: 305.673.7000 ext. 26508
To view the City of Miami Beach 2017 public records processing policy, applicable to City elected and appointed officials and City employees, please click HERE.
A requestor can make a public records request to any City of Miami Beach personnel in writing, by telephone, by email or in person. Public records shall be inspected and examined by any person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time under reasonable conditions, and under departmental supervision.
It is the policy of the City of Miami Beach that all public records shall be open for personal inspection by any person. Florida Statutes, Chapter 119, Sections 119.07 and 119.071 address exemptions to Public Records Access, which exemptions must be specifically noted when claiming an exemption in response to a public records request.
Public Records Requests must be responded to in a timely manner. The Florida Supreme Court has stated that the only delay in producing records permitted under Florida Statute Chapter 119 “is the limited reasonable time allowed the custodian to retrieve the record and delete those portions of the record the custodian asserts are exempt.”
Each City Department shall assign a “Records Custodian” and a backup “Records Custodian” to interface with the Office of the City Clerk and coordinate the departmental retrieval of Public Records. If a departmental Records Custodian is not assigned it will be assumed that the Department Director and Assistant Department Director will assume the role.
Requests received for Police information shall be forwarded to the Police Department.
Requests received from any of the collective bargaining units shall be forwarded to the Office of Labor Relations in the Human Resources Department.
Electronic communications to or from municipal personnel are covered by the Public Records law, just like communications on paper. Accordingly, e-mails, tweets, texts, Facebook
messages, Blackberry Pins, SMS communications (text messaging), MMS communications (multimedia content), instant messaging and any other electronic communications sent or received by City personnel (regardless of whether on a City or private computer/cellphone/other electronic device) in connection with the transaction of official business, are public records and must be disclosed upon request, subject to applicable statutory exemptions, and are further subject to the statutory restrictions on retention and destruction of public records. See, Florida Statute section 257.36(6), which specifically requires that a public record may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of only in accordance with retention schedules established by the [State] Division of Library and Information Services (Division) of the Department of State.
It is the nature of the record created rather than the means by which it is created which determines whether it is a public record. Thus, an electronic record created by City personnel in connection with the transaction of official business is a public record whether it is created on a publicly or privately owned computer/cellphone/other electronic device.
In order to ensure that the City’s records contain all public records , City personnel must, immediately after that public record’s creation, transmit to their City email account copies of such public record, whether stemming from their private computer/cellphone/other electronic device.
1. A requester can make a public records request to any City of Miami Beach personnel in writing , by telephone, by electronic communication, or in:
To request a public record via e-mail, the requester may send an email to email@example.com
To request public records by mail, the requester may send the request to: City of Miami Beach, Office of the City Clerk, Attention: Public Records Request, 1700 Convention Center Drive, First Floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
To request public records via telephone, the requester may call the Office of the City Clerk at 305.673. 7000 ext. 26508. The requester may also contact the applicable Department directly.
- In Person:
To request public records in person, the requester may visit the Office of the City Clerk, located at City of Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive,
First Floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139. The requester may also request public records in person from the City Department serving as records custodian of documents sought.
2. City personnel receiving public records requests shall forward a completed Public Records Request Form to the Office of the City Clerk (along with a copy of any written public records request) either electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the transmittal of the completed Request Form to the Office of the City Clerk is for tracking purposes only. The City Department serving as records custodian of the requested records is responsible for responding to the request.
3. Upon receipt of a public records request, the Office of the City Clerk will assign each request a number, and shall e-mail the request to the specific City Department’s Record all future correspondence regarding the request should reference the subject records request number assigned by the Clerk’s Office.
4. The Office of the City Clerk will maintain a log for all research requests with the following information: date request made; requester’s name, telephone number, fax number and email, documents requested, name of City personnel that the records request is assigned to and completed by, results of research, and status.
5. The Department’s Record Custodian will notify the requester of the estimated time to process the request and related costs (see Cost Calculations below) in advance of producing the records.
- It is important to make sure that the requester is kept informed regarding the status of the research request. The City is not permitted to require full payment in advance of commencing production of records, but may request a deposit prior to such commencement when dealing with records requests that involve “extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the agency involved, or both.”
- Once the City has accumulated the records, the requester must provide payment in full before the City is required to produce the records. The City may also bill for any shortfall between any deposit that has been paid by the requester and the actual cost of copying the public records when the copies have been made and the requesting party subsequently advises that the records are no longer sought.
PERSONNEL DUTIES RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS FOR EMAILS/TEXTS/OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
Public records requests which seek inspection of City personnel’s private emails/texts and/or other electronic communications require close examination in order to determine which such electronic communications are available for public inspection as having been “made or received in the course of official City business”. In addition to the statutory exemptions from public disclosure, records or portions of records which are “private” or “personal” and which were not “made or received pursuant to law or ordinance” nor “created or received in connection with official business” of the City are not subject to disclosure. State of Florida v. City of Clearwater, 863 So. 2d 149 (Fla. 2003), and Media General Operation, Inc. v. Feeney, 849 So. 2d 3 (Fla. 151 DCA 2003), rev. den. 857 So. 2d 196 (Fla. 2003).
- In those instances in which a public records request has been made for City personnel’s email/text/other electronic communication on a City electronic device, that subject City personnel shall review his/her emails/texts/electronic communications in order to determine which are “public records” and which are “personal” or “exempt” information, with subsequent review by that personnel’s Department Director (and in the event any such “personal” or “exempt” information is that of the Department Director, said material must be subsequently reviewed by the City Manager’s designee) in order to verify that said material is not subject to public.
- Public records requests seeking City personnel’s private emails/texts/other electronic communications from his/her private electronic device will require each City personnel to review such emails/texts/other electronic communications and produce within a “reasonable time” any emails/texts/other electronic communications that constitute a “public record” (subject to allowable statutory exemptions) such City personnel is encouraged to confer with the City Attorney pertaining to issues of compliance with the State’s Public Records Law, Florida Statutes Chapter 119, and must, upon completion of document review, transmit to the City server those email/texts/other electronic communications that have been determined to constitute a public
MISCELLANEOUS RELATED PERSONNEL DUTIES
- The City may refuse to produce additional records if the fees for a previous request for records have not been paid by the requester. See Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, 995 so. 2d 1027 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008). Should this situation arise, the Office of the City Attorney must be consulted prior to the City Department’s relaying such position to the requester.
- The City must provide a copy of the requested record in the medium requested if the City maintains the record in that the City is not required to furnish public records in a format other than the standard format routinely maintained by the City. If the City chooses to provide records in a requested format that is different than the standard format used by it, the requester is responsible for the actual costs of converting or reformatting the information (in which situation, the City Department handling the records request should prior to reformatting the information, communicate with the requester and obtain confirmation that he/she will assume such additional reformatting fees and charges).
- Each City Department’s Record Custodian will advise the Office of the City Clerk once a request has been completed, upon which event the Office of the City Clerk will update the Request Log and closeout the request as having been.
Copies to be charged (if total exceeds $1.00):
- $0.15 per one-sided copy for duplicated copies of not more than 14 inches by 8.5 inches;
- An additional $0.05 for each two-sided copy;
- For all other copies, the actual cost of duplication of the public records;
- $1 per copy for a certified copy of a public record;
- $5 per notary stamp (waived for City of Miami Beach documents);
- Utilities, office expenses, travel time and storage retrieval fees for public records stored off-premises shall not be charged.
Special Service Charge (in addition to copy costs)
The City shall, pursuant to statutory authorization set forth below, charge a “special service charge” for “extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the agency involved, or both” pertaining to records requests of 1/2 hour or more:
- Pursuant to Florida State Statute 07: “If the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected or copied pursuant to this subsection is such as to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the agency involved, or both, the agency may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special service charge, which shall be reasonable and shall be based on the cost incurred for such extensive use of information technology resources or the labor cost of the personnel providing the service that is actually incurred by the agency or attributable to the agency for the clerical and supervisory assistance required, or both”.
- For the purpose of public records requests made to the City of Miami Beach, the term “extensive” shall be defined as labor of 1/2 hour or more which will be charged at the flat rate of the employee’s base salary and employee benefits (fringe benefits not included) whose normal scope of duties include performing the function, even if an employee at a higher pay level actually did the request. A higher rate may be charged for requests that involve complex documents containing various exempt or confidential information, usually this will involve documents that have to be reviewed by staff from the Office of the City Attorney who possess the knowledge necessary to make decisions with respect to potential exemptions, in which situation the cost assessment shall be calculated in consultation with such personnel.
Frequently Requested Public Records Available Online:
You may access the following information online:
Agendas and After-Actions are available at: Agenda Archives
The City Charter and City Code are available at: Municipal Code
The Miami Beach Digital Archives – A collaborative project between the City of Miami Beach, Florida International University’s History Department and the Wolfsonian-FIU to digitize and catalog the large and fascinating collection of photographs, postcards, and other visual materials that make up the historical archive held by the City of Miami Beach is available at: Digital Archives
Election Information is available at the Office of the City Clerk’s Election Information Page
Letters to Commission are available at: LTCs
Lobbyist Registration Forms are available at: Lobbyist Information
Ordinance Registry for 2016 through 2019 is available at: Ordinance Registry Log 2016-2019
Ordinance Registry for 2020 is available at: Ordinance Registry Log 2020-2021
Ordinances are available at: Ordinances
Resolution Registry for 2016 through 2019 is available at: Resolution Registry Log 2016-2019
Resolution Registry 2020 – 2021 is available at: Resolution Registry Log 2020-2021
Resolutions are available at: Resolutions
Appendix A FY 2020 Fee Schedule is available at: Appendix A
Redevelopment Agency Resolutions (RDA) are available at: RDA Resolutions
Special Master Agendas are available at: SMAgendas
Short Term Rental Agendas are available at: STR Agendas
Red Light Camera Violations Agendas are available at: RLCV Agendas
List of City Managers is available at: City Managers
List of City Attorneys is available at: City Attorneys
List of City Clerks is available at: City Clerks
List of Homeowners and Neighborhood Registry is available at: Homeowners and Neighborhood Registry
For additional records, not listed above, please visit Weblink, the City of Miami Beach’s digital archiving system.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at 305.673.7411.