This template is for student journalists seeking to compel a North Carolina state agency to turn over records requested pursuant to North Carolina’s Public Records Law. The template provides a general outline for complaints filed in superior court, with areas for editing in brackets.
It is important to note that pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38.3E(a), a Plaintiff seeking to file a civil action to compel a North Carolina state agency to produce requested public records may seek “voluntary mediation” with the state agency before filing the lawsuit, and pursuant to § 7A-38.3E(b), must initiate “mandatory mediation” after filing a lawsuit. The mandatory mediation must be initiated “no later than 30 days from the filing of responsive pleadings with the clerk in the county where the action is filed.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38.3E(b). However, “parties to the dispute may waive the mediation required by this section by informing the mediator of the parties’ waiver in writing.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-38.3E(e).