Open Records Information

The Open Records Act was enacted to allow individuals to have free and open examination of public records and the meetings of government agencies.

Request Form

Submit an Open Record Request Form.

Public Record Definition

A Public Record is defined as the following materials being prepared and maintained or received by an agency or by a private person or entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of an agency or when such documents have been transferred to a private person or entity by an agency for storage or future governmental use. 

  • All Documents
  • Books
  • Computer Based or Generated Information
  • Data
  • Data Fields or Similar Material
  • Letters
  • Maps
  • Papers
  • Photographs
  • Tapes


Certain documents such as vital records, case documents, deeds and property liens do not fall under the same category as Public Records in regards to Open Records Requests.

Court Records

To the extent you are seeking court records, such as case documents, deeds, or property liens, such records are maintained by the Newton County Clerks of Court. You may obtain these records by visiting the applicable clerk’s office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the following address:
Newton County Judicial Center
1132 Usher Street
Covington, Georgia 30014

Vital Records

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-18-76, vital records are not available for public inspection and are not available through an Open Records Request. Typically, only the person to whom the record applies and certain relatives may obtain these documents. There is a state mandated $25 fee for these records. if you wish to obtain a vital record, please visit the Probate Court office, MOnday through Friday form 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., at the following address:

Newton County Judicial Center

1132 Usher Street

Covington, Georgia 30014

Vital records include:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Records from the Clerks of Court

Please note, records from the clerks of court may be subject to charges beyond those identified in the Open Records Act. These fees are established by statute, and include, but are not limited to, those fees set forth in O.C.G.A. §§ 15-6-77 and 15-9-60.


Costs: Pursuant to the ORA, the County is authorized to charge for the search, retrieval, redaction, and production or copying costs involved in responding to ORA requests, after the first 15 minutes of Department employee time expended, at the hourly rate of the lowest paid, full-time employee who possesses the necessary skill to so respond. To ensure consistency, any employee who retrieves records responsive to an ORA request shall, in every case, inform the Records Officer of the time spent ( or in the case of a pre-retrieval estimate, the time estimated to be spent) responding to the request ( including time spent redacting records), as well as the applicable hourly rate. The County may also charge ten ( 10) cents for each letter or legal- sized page copied and an additional fee for certified copies or other copies for which a fee is specifically authorized or otherwise provided for by law. When the documents requested are de minimis, 20 pages or less, County employees are not required to charge for the request. If the cost of responding to an ORA request will exceed $ 25, the County may defer search and retrieval of the records until the requestor agrees to pay the estimated costs. In such cases, employees should provide an estimate to the Records Officer of the time expected to be spent responding to the request and the costs of the materials requested. Once the requestor notifies the Records Officer of their approval of the costs of the estimate, the County may begin compiling responsive records, and shall provide responsive records within three business days. Because Newton County reserves the right to adjust upward or downward depending upon the number of copies and the amount of time it takes to respond, upon providing the Records Officer with documents responsive to an ORA request, employees should inform the Records Officer of the actual time expended and costs of materials provided even if the cost is in excess of the estimate provided.

Open Records Documents