May 27, 2024

Public Information Requests

Requests for public records of Clay County Office or Emergency Management must be made directly to the Clay County Auditor’s Office, located on the second floor of the County Courthouse in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Clay County Auditor’s Office | 211 W. Main St. Suite 200 | Vermillion, SD 57069

Click here to download the form.

  • Requestors may receive their information / copies via US Postal Service or other carrier, pick up in person from the Auditor’s Office or download from a temporary online file location (FTP) (Digital Requests Only).
  • Requestors must pay postage fees if they choose to receive the information via mail service.
  • Records will NOT be emailed to the requestor.
  • Government requestors will not be charged.
  • Public Records may be inspected for free by appointment and during normal business hours.



  • Send a Public Records Request to the Clay County Auditor’s Office. Requestor may email, drop off or use a mail service to submit the form.
  • The Auditor’s Office documents the request, determines if the record is eligible for release with the assistance of the State’s Attorney’s Office, if needed.
  • The Auditor will contact Emergency Management and inform them of the requested record.
  • The Auditor’s Office calculates and collects the fees associated with the record request. All fees must be paid prior to the release of the requested records.
  • The Auditor’s Office releases the record to the requestor via their chosen delivery method.


Purpose and Use of Requested Information

No reason for the record request is required. Use of records is generally not restricted. Certain subscription or license holder lists may not be resold or redistributed. (SDCL 1-27-1.11)


Who may request public records?

Any citizen of Clay County, South Dakota or the United States may make records requests. Certain records regarding correctional facilities are not available to people who are currently incarcerated. (SDCL 1-27-1)(SDCL 1-27-1-13)



Clay County charges fees for printing, copies, delivery, specialized services, or for access to subscription or license holder lists. (SDCL 1-27-1.2)(SDCL 1-27-1.11)


Clay County OEM Fee Schedule

8.5” x 11” Black / White Print $2.00 / Page
Digital Spreadsheet $50.00 / Up to 500 Records
Digital Spreadsheet Over 500 Records $25.00 / Each Additional 250 Records
Digital PDF, PowerPoint, or Photograph $1.50 / Page, Slide or Image
USB Drive Charge $5.00 / Per Drive

There are no fees for meeting minutes, agendas, and meeting audio recordings.


Response time

The Clay County Office of Emergency Management does not have a timeline for record requests to be completed.



Clay County Office of Emergency Management considers the following requests exempt from public access as allowed by South Dakota law.

SDCL 1-27-1.5-9

The following records are not subject to SDCL 1-27-1, 1-27-1.1, 1-27-1.3, and 1-27-1.23:

  • Records developed or received by law enforcement agencies and other public bodies charged with duties of investigation or examination of persons, institutions, or businesses, if the records constitute a part of the examination, investigation, intelligence information, citizen complaints or inquiries, informant identification, or strategic or tactical information used in law enforcement training. However, this subdivision does not apply to records so developed or received relating to the presence of and amount or concentration of alcohol or drugs in any body fluid of any person, and this subdivision does not apply to a 911 recording or a transcript of a 911 recording, if the agency or a court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure. This law in no way abrogates or changes SDCL 23-5-7 and 23-5-11 or testimonial privileges applying to the use of information from confidential informants.
  • Personnel information other than salaries and routine directory information. However, this subdivision does not apply to the public inspection or copying of any current or prior contract with any public employee and any related document that specifies the consideration to be paid to the employee.
  • Information pertaining to the protection of public or private property and any person on or within public or private property including:
    • Any vulnerability assessment or response plan intended to prevent or mitigate criminal acts.
    • Emergency Management or Emergency Response.
    • Public safety information that would create a substantial likelihood of endangering public safety or property, if disclosed.
    • Computer or communications network schema, passwords, or user identification names.
    • Guard schedules.
    • Lock combinations.
    • Any blueprint, building plan, or infrastructure record regarding any building or facility that would expose or create vulnerability through disclosure of the location, configuration, or security of critical systems of the building or facility.
  • Personally identified private citizen account payment information, credit information on others supplied in confidence, and customer lists.
  • Correspondence, memoranda, calendars, or logs of appointments, working papers, and records of telephone calls of public officials or employees.
  • Records or portions of records kept by public bodies which would reveal the location, character, or ownership of any known archaeological, historical, or paleontological site in South Dakota if necessary to protect the site from a reasonably held fear of theft, vandalism, or trespass. This subdivision does not apply to the release of information for the purpose of scholarly research, examination by other public bodies for the protection of the resource or by recognized tribes, or the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
  • Records or portions of records kept by public bodies which maintain collections of archeological, historical, or paleontological significance which nongovernmental donors have requested to remain closed or which reveal the names and addresses of donors of such articles of archaeological, historical, or paleontological significance unless the donor approves disclosure, except as the records or portions thereof may be needed to carry out the purposes of the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the Archeological Resources Protection Act.
  • Employment applications and related materials, except for applications and related materials submitted by individuals hired into executive or policymaking positions of any public body.
  • Social security numbers; credit card, charge card, or debit card numbers and expiration dates; passport numbers, driver license numbers; or other personally identifying numbers or codes; and financial account numbers supplied to state and local governments by citizens or held by state and local governments regarding employees or contractors.
  • Any emergency or disaster response plans or protocols, safety or security audits or reviews, or lists of emergency or disaster response personnel or material; any location or listing of weapons or ammunition; nuclear, chemical, or biological agents; or other military or law enforcement equipment or personnel.
  • Personal correspondence, memoranda, notes, calendars or appointment logs, or other personal records or documents of any public official or employee.
  • Any document declared closed or confidential by court order, contract, or stipulation of the parties to any civil or criminal action or proceeding except as provided under SDCL 1-27-1.23.
  • Records which, if disclosed, would constitute an unreasonable release of personal information.
  • Records which, if released, could endanger the life or safety of any person.
  • Internal agency record or information received by agencies that are not required to be filed with such agencies, if the records do not constitute final statistical or factual tabulations, final instructions to staff that affect the public, or final agency policy or determinations, or any completed state or federal audit and if the information is not otherwise public under other state law, including chapter 15-15A and § 1-26-21.

The following financial, commercial, and proprietary information is specifically exempt from disclosure pursuant to SDCL 1-27-1 to 1-27-1.15, inclusive:

  • Valuable formulae, designs, drawings, computer source code or object code, and research data invented, discovered, authored, developed, or obtained by any agency if disclosure would produce private gain or public loss.

Proprietary data, trade secrets, or other information that relates to:

  • A vendor’s unique methods of conducting business.
  • Data unique to the product or services of the vendor.
  • Determining prices or rates to be charged for services, submitted by any vendor to any public body.
  • Any production records, mineral assessments, and trade secrets submitted by a permit holder, mine operator, or landowner to any public body.

Drafts, notes, recommendations, and memorandum in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended are exempt from disclosure pursuant to SDCL 1-27-1 to 1-27-1.15, inclusive.

Any record that is relevant to a controversy to which a public body is a party, but which record would not be available to another party under the rules of pretrial discovery for causes pending in circuit court are exempt from disclosure pursuant to SDCL 1-27-1 to 1-27-1.15, inclusive.

No employee of The Clay County Office of Emergency Management may be compelled to provide documents, records, or communications used for the purpose of the decisional or deliberative process relating to any decision arising from that person’s official duties. Any document that is otherwise already public is not made confidential by reason of having been used in deliberations.