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Basic Request Management

Everything you need to know to handle a public records request

Note: Some of these actions are only available to Admins-Publishers. Check the note in each section to see who can take that action.

This document covers everything you need to know about managing a request in NextRequest. Click on any of the links in the list to jump to that section:

  1. How to submit a request on behalf of a requester
  2. How to edit or redact the text of a request
  3. How to change the requester for a request
  4. How to change the due date for a request
  5. How to send a message on a request
  6. How to pause and unpause a request
  7. How to add tags to a request
  8. How to close a request
  9. How to reopen a request
  10. How to change the visibility of a request

For information about how to assign requests to staff click here.

For information about managing documents and links that are added to requests click here.

 

How to submit a request on behalf of a requester

Sometimes a requester will submit their request over the phone or online, rather than directly through the NextRequest portal. In these cases, staff can enter the request into NextRequest on the requester’s behalf.

 

Steps for submitting a request on behalf of a requester

  1. Sign in to NextRequest
  2. Click the Make Request button
  3. Enter a description of the request
  4. Choose a department (optional)
  5. Enter the requester’s email address and any other personal information provided
    1. If the requester does not provide an email address, check the checkbox “No email address available”
  6. Enter the date the request was received
  7. Select the format in which the request was received
  8. Select what visibility the request should have (if applicable, Staff users do not have access to this menu. for information on the different visibility options for a request click here)
  9. Click the MAKE REQUEST button. If you entered an email address for the requester they will receive an email notification that the request was submitted.

 

 

How to edit or redact the text of a request

Note: Only Publisher-Admin users can change the text of a request.

Some requests may include personally identifiable information (PII), vulgar, racist, or otherwise obscene or private information that agencies may not want to publish. Admin users have the ability to edit request text in order to redact this information. We recommend leaving a note as to what was redacted and why. An example of redacted request language: "I wanted to request the following records... My social security number is [social security number redacted] and my address is [address redacted]."

 

Steps for editing the text of a request

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Navigate to the request you want to redact.
  3. Click the Edit icon () above to the request text.
  4. Edit the request text and replace with [redacted for X reason].
  5. Click the Update Request button.

 

How to change the requester for a request

Note: Only Publisher - Admin users can change the requester.

Steps for changing the requester for a request

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request
  3. Click the Edit icon () next to the email address of the requester

    If the requester has a registered email…
  4. Click in the Search Requester field and search for the correct email.
  5. Click the Change Requester button.
Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 3.59.52 PM

If the requester does not have a registered email…

  1. Click the Create a new requester account link below the search Requester field
  2. Fill the required user information to create a new guest account
  3. Click the Save button
  4. Repeat steps 2 to 5 selecting the new guest email in the Change Requester dropdown

 

How to send a message on a request

Admins- Publisher users can send internal and external messages. Staff users can only send internal messages. 

Steps to send an internal message to other staff assigned to the request

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to send a message on
  3. Click the Chat bubble icon (Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.22.25 PM) in the toolbar
  4. Select a message template from the drop down menu and/or type your message in the message contents box. You can use more than one template to create a response along with your custom text. 
  5. Click Send Message. This will email all other staff assigned to the request.

 

Steps to send an external message to the requester

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to send a message on
  3. Click the Envelope icon (Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.26.55 PM) in the toolbar
  4. Select a message template from the drop down menu and/or type your message in the message contents box. You can use more than one template to create a response along with your custom text. 
  5. Click Send Message. This will email all other staff assigned to the request.

How to change the due date for a request

Note: Only Publisher - Admin users can change a request's due date

Changing the due date is an option that should not be used very often except for valid extension purposes in your local jurisdiction. However, human error is unavoidable. Changing the due date is a last resort option that must be used responsibly. Make sure to check the laws in your area before changing the due date.

 

Steps for changing the due date for a request

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to change the due date of
  3. Click the Edit icon () next to the request due date
  4. Enter the new due date and a reason for changing the due date
  5. WARNING: Changing the due date may have legal consequences. Be sure to check the laws in your area before changing the due date
  6. Click the Save Date button

 

 

How to pause and unpause a request

Note: Only admins - publishers can pause and unpause a request

Sometimes you may need additional information from a requester or a payment before processing their request. When this happens you can pause a request so that staff will not receive overdue or due soon notifications while they are waiting for the requester to take an action. The request will automatically be unpaused if the requester updates the request with a new message, uploads a document, or pays an invoice. Pausing a request will not change the due date, it only stops the related notifications. For information about how to change the due date of a request click here.

Requesters can not see that their request has been paused.

 

  1. Steps for pausing a request
  2. Sign in to your account and go to the request that you want to pause
  3. Click the Pause button (Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.04.49 PM) in the toolbar
  4. (Optional) Add a comment explaining why you are pausing the request
  5. Click the Pause Request button

 

Steps for unpausing a request

  1. Sign in to your account and go to the request you want to unpause
  2. Click the Resume button (Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.05.48 PM) in the toolbar

 

How to add tags to a request

Steps for adding tags to a request

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to add tags to
  3. Click the Edit icon () next to Assigned Tags on the bottom left :Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.07.11 PM
  4. Click the box then select the tags you want from the drop-down menu. To remove a tag click the X next to it in the box
  5. Click the Save Tags button

 

 

How to close a request

Note: Only admins - publishers can close a request.

A request can be closed out once the responsive documents have been released, or if the requested information is either unavailable or cannot be released. A closure reason must be provided to close the request. For information about how to add or update closure reasons click here.

 

Steps for closing a request:

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to close
  3. Click the Close Request icon (Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.09.52 PM) in the toolbar
  4. Select the appropriate closure response from the drop down menu labeled Closure Templates. You can select multiple closure responses as well as edit the default response text
  5. (Optional) Edit Request Visibility if needed
  6. Click the Close Request button

 

 

How to reopen a request

Note: Only admins - publishers can reopen a request.

Although most actions can be taken after a request has been closed, there may be instances where you need to reopen a request. A record of reopening the request will be made in the request's timeline and the requester will be notified.

 

Steps for reopening a request

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to reopen
  3. Click the Reopen Request icon (Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.12.09 PM) in the toolbar
  4. Click the Reopen Request button to confirm

 

 

How to change the visibility of a request

Note: Only admins - publishers can change the visibility of a request.

Admin - publishers can set the set the visibility of an individual request, overriding whatever the default organization and department visibility settings are. For more information about visibility settings click here.

 

Steps for changing the visibility of a request

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Navigate to the request you want to set the visibility for
  3. Click the Edit icon in the visibility bar at the top of the page:Screen Shot 2022-02-22 at 4.15.16 PM
  4. Select the new visibility setting in the window that appears
  5. Click the Change Visibility button