Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Sunshine Laws
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which can be found in Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, was enacted in 1966 and generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. All agencies of the Executive Branch of the United States Government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records (or portions of them) that are protected from disclosure by the nine exemptions and three exclusions of the FOIA. This right of access is enforceable in court. The FOIA does not, however, provide access to records held by state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals.
Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records
A complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws.