TITLE 44. PUBLIC RECORDS AND RECORDERS
CHAPTER 1. PUBLIC RECORDS
PART II. GENERAL PROVISIONS
44:36 Preservation of records
A. All persons and public bodies having custody or control of any public record, other than conveyance, probate, mortgage, or other permanent records required by existing law to be kept for all time, shall exercise diligence and care in preserving the public record for the period or periods of time specified for such public records in formal records retention schedules developed and approved by the state archivist and director of the division of archives, records management, and history of the Department of State. However, in all instances in which a formal retention schedule has not been executed, such public records shall be preserved and maintained for a period of at least three years from the date on which the public record was made. However, where copies of an original record exist, the original alone shall be kept; when only duplicate copies of a record exist, only one copy of the duplicate copies shall be required to be kept. Where an appropriate form of the microphotographic process has been utilized to record, file, and otherwise preserve such public records with microforms produced in compliance with the provisions of R.S. 44:415, the microforms shall be deemed originals in themselves, as provided by R.S. 44:39(B), and disposition of original documents which have been microphotographically preserved and of duplicates and other copies thereof shall proceed as provided in R.S. 44:411.
B. All existing records or records hereafter accumulated by the Department of Revenue may be destroyed after five years from the thirty-first day of December of the year in which the tax to which the records pertain became due; provided that these records shall not be destroyed in any case where there is a contest relative to the payment of taxes or where a claim has been made for a refund or where litigation with reference thereto is pending.
C. All existing records or records hereafter accumulated by the various services of the state or its subdivisions which participate in federal programs or receive federal grants may be destroyed after three years from the date on which the records were made in those cases where this provision is not superseded by guidelines for the operative federal program or grant requiring longer retention periods for the records in question; provided that these records shall not be destroyed in any case where litigation with reference thereto is pending, or until the appropriate state or federal audits have been conducted.
D. All existing records or records hereafter accumulated by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, corrections services, pertaining to any adult offender shall be retained and may not be destroyed until after six years from the date the full term sentence imposed upon such offender expires, or six years from the date of death of the offender, whichever occurs first.
E. (1) The public records of a prosecuting agency, pertaining to a criminal prosecution that results in a conviction, in a manner other than a plea, shall be retained for a period of three years from the date on which a court of appeal affirms the conviction, the Louisiana Supreme Court denies writs, or the Louisiana Supreme Court makes its final ruling on the appeal, whichever occurs last.
(2) The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to any records expunged as provided by law.
(3) Nothing in this Subsection shall be construed in any manner to affect or alter the provisions of R.S. 44:3 regarding the records of prosecuting agencies.
F. All existing records or records hereafter accumulated pursuant to R.S. 42:23 shall be preserved and maintained for a period of at least two years from the date on which the public record was made.
Amended by Acts 1950, No. 134, § 1; Acts 1954, No. 473, § 1; Acts 1978, No. 43, § 1; Acts 1983, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 11, § 1, eff. Jan. 19, 1983; Acts 1986, No. 1075, § 1; Acts 1991, No. 310, § 1; Acts 1997, No. 1269, § 1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 2003, No. 322, § 1; Acts 2010, No. 785, § 1; Acts 2013, No. 363, § 2, eff. June 17, 2013.