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Who is allowed to look at public records?

The Tennessee Public Records Act provides that any citizen of Tennessee has the right to personally inspect a public record unless there is a state law that restricts or prohibits inspection. Tenn. Code Ann. Section 10-7- 503(a)(2)(A). While only citizens of Tennessee have the right to inspect and receive copies of public records, governmental entities are not prohibited from making records accessible to individuals who are not citizens of Tennessee. In Tennessee, a request to inspect or receive copies of public records is called a “public records request” or an “open records request.” A number of other states and the federal government call a request for public records a “FOIA” or “Freedom of Information Act” request.