Several online resources that can help you to submit a records request are OPRAmachine, FOIA Machine, and the Student Press Law Center’s automated letter generator.
OPRAmachine is a new platform launched in October 2017 that allows you to send an OPRA request anonymously (allowed under current law). The app catalogs the requests, the replies and the records received, and it allows users to search for and review all documents. You can even sign up to receive alerts based on criteria you specify, like a particular town or authority, or a particular user who shares your interest in a topic.
OPRAmachine differs from FOIA Machine, below, in that it is New Jersey-specific. OPRAmachine is also actively managed / developed.
OPRAmachine was developed by transparency advocate and techie Gavin Rozzi, with help from site administrator Jeff Epstein. The app is currently free to use. Users are required only to register an account. Click here to get started!
“FOIA Machine” provides a nationwide repository of records requests and responses. It facilitates the submission of a federal FOIA or state OPRA request with the appropriate detail (generates an email to the records custodian), houses and tracks the request and response, and maintains a listing of previous contacts.
Records requestors can access FOIA Machine at http://www.foiamachine.org/. Create an individual account to get started. Then simply input the subject, agency/contact, and request description.
Requests and responses are easily viewable via the site. A key feature of FOIA Machine is that it allows registered users to easily search and view all requests/results housed on the site. Perhaps someone has already requested and obtained the records you are seeking!
Student Press Law Center’s automated letter generator
If you’d like help writing a letter for your OPRA request, the Student Press Law Center has a wonderful, fill-in-the-blanks state open records law automated letter generator that asks you relevant questions about the information you are seeking and also inserts state-specific legal language into your letter. The Student Press Law Center also has useful tips for making records requests. To access the tips as well as the letter generator, click here.