Court case addresses question: When a person requests an electronic copy of a public electronic record under the Kansas Open Records Act, must a public agency provide that copy in electronic format? The answer is “yes.”

Phillips County Hospital refused to produce for Roe the requested electronic records in native (i.e., “electronic”) format but expressed willingness to provide copies of the electronic records in hard copy (i.e., paper) format.

After reviewing KORA and several AG opinions, the district court concluded: “While true that KORA does not specifically say copies must be produced in electronic format, that is implied.” The court thus ordered Hospital to provide Roe with electronic copies of the records, as she requested, with certain exceptions not relevant to our analysis.

On appeal, a panel of the Court of Appeals reversed the district court. The panel reasoned that KORA was silent on the question of format in which a record is produced on request.

The State Supreme Court sided with the district court saying: “The question before us is whether KORA requires a public agency to provide someone with requested electronic copies of public electronic records. We conclude that the plain language of the relevant statutes, when read together, supports the existence of such a duty.”

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