Obtaining Elk County public records can really provide a lot of valuable information. While there are plenty of Pennsylvania state records, it can be easier to find certain documentation if you have it narrowed down to a specific county. So, instead of looking for state records, you can track down Elk County death records, Elk County criminal records or other types of vital records by county.
Searching for and obtaining Elk County public records used to be much more difficult. These types of documents, such as Elk County Birth records or Elk County marriage records, were not easy to get unless you were willing to travel or could get someone to mail them to you -- that is, if you could even gain access to them at all.
A recent change in Pennsylvania law has finally made it possible for the public to have access to public records. So while you can now obtain and often see Elk County public records online, it wasn't that long ago you may not have been able to get any records at all, even if you were willing to travel. Because of the change in laws and the ease of requesting the data online, getting Elk County public records is now so much easier.
Understanding the Right to Know Law
This is a Pennsylvania state law that went into effect February 14, 2008. This law makes it legal for the public to have access to materials such as Elk County public records. While there are some restrictions, in general the public now has the freedom to have access to certain things classified as public record. The Right to Know law also enables a person to petition the court in cases where access is denied.
This law also means that even the media has a right to records deemed public. This includes Elk County death records, criminal records or other types of vital records. In addition to county public records, one may also view letters, books or tapes that are considered public, under the Right to Know law.
Some Right to Know Restrictions
Even though you have access to Elk County public records, there are some things to know before trying to gain access to what you may think is public record. Data that includes numerical identification, for example, is not retrievable. This includes social security numbers and drivers licenses. Another example of something that cannot be revealed under the Right to Know law is DNA or RNA.
Any documentation that could lead to a person being endangered is also off limits. So, for example, to protect the safety of figures such as judges, the home addresses of judges are not made available to the public. Nor is any documentation that may include this data.
Your Elk County Public Records Search
To get the public records you want, you can search either online or offline. One good place to start is the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. You can also directly contact the Elk County courthouse. Take advantage of the Pennsylvania Right to Know law and obtain your Elk County Public Records.