This article walks through how to set up and manage the Retention feature.
- Once a request or document is deleted at the end of its retention period, it is gone forever and cannot be recovered.
- When turning on retention for your portal be sure that you have enough time to review all requests and documents before they are scheduled for deletion on the 1st of the upcoming month!
- All requests and documents have the same retention period. It is not possible to set different retention periods depending on the department, requester, type of request, and other similar options.
- Only Admins can exempt a request or document from deletion. All internal users can view the expiration date of a request or documents
- Requests and documents are deleted on the 1st of the month following the end of their retention period. This means that files may be kept for up to 30 days after their retention period officially expires.
- All Admins will receive an email on the 15th of the month listing requests and documents scheduled for deletion on the first of the following month. They will receive another email on the 1st of the month listing all requests and documents that have been deleted.
- NextRequest Support will have to turn Retention on for your portal.
- Start Dates for the Retention Period
- Set Up Retention
- When a Request or Document is Due for Deletion
- Exempt a Request from Deletion
- Exempt a Document from Deletion
- Timeline Actions Related to Retention
- Retention Notification Emails
- Frequently Asked Retention Questions
Not finding what you are looking for? View additional retention resources.
Start Dates for the Retention Period
- Requests: The date the request was closed
- Documents: If a document is associated with a request, the date the request is closed. Otherwise, the date the document was uploaded, or the document date if manually added.
Set Up Retention
- Log in as an Admin, navigate to the Admin header, and click Portal Settings in the drop-down
- Click Retention at the bottom of the list on the left
Note: If it’s not visible, NextRequest Support will have to turn it on for your portal.
- Select the Enable retention schedule toggle
- Enter the number of months equal to your retention schedule in the Retention Period box
Note: If your portal is older than your retention period, we recommend that you set the retention period for longer than you have had your NextRequest portal. This will allow you to review all requests and documents for exemption before anything is set to be deleted automatically. Once your review is complete you can update the retention period to the correct number of months.
- Enter the Retention policy text. This text will show if a requester or member of the public goes to the URL for a request or document that has been deleted.
- Click the Save button
- Check the Yes, I understand box and enter your Initials in the field
- Click the Confirm button
When a Request or Document is Due for Deletion
There are multiple ways to tell when a request or document is due for deletion:
Request expiration dates show inside the request at the top left section, directly under the requester information
Request expiration dates are shown in the last column ‘Expiration Date’ on the All Requests page.
Request expiration dates of requests can be included in the downloadable report from the All Requests page.
Document expiration dates show in the Documents tab of a request, on the document cards
Document expiration dates also show at the bottom of the left-hand menu when viewing a document, right above the associated request number.
An email will be sent to all Admins on the 15th of the month listing all requests and documents that are scheduled for deletion on the 1st of the following month.
Exempt a Request From Deletion
If you have just turned on retention for your portal, it may take up to 30 minutes for the expiration date to populate for all requests and documents.
- Select the All Requests header
- Navigate to a closed request (open requests are not subject to the retention period)
- Click the pencil icon next to the new Expiration date in the top left section of the request
- Choose to Exempt request from deletion and/or to Exempt all documents on this request from deletion
Note: If you exempt this request from deletion, it will not be automatically deleted from the portal even after the normal retention period passes. Included documents will exempt all documents on this request from deletion. If a request's expiration date is already in the past, the request will be deleted in the next retention cycle if exempt status is removed.
- Click the Change Retention Status button
Exempt a Document From Deletion
If you have just turned on retention for your portal, it may take up to 30 minutes for the expiration date to populate for all requests and documents. There are two different ways you can exempt a document from deletion, by exempting a single document or a selection of documents at once.
Exempt a Single Document
- Navigate to the Documents tab of a request
- Select the document you want to open
- Click the pencil icon next to the Expiration Date on the left side panel
- Check the box Exempt from retention
- Click the Save button
Exempt All of a Selection of Documents at Once
You can set your document expiration status much more easily through the document panel on the request page.
- Navigate to the Documents tab of a request
- Check the documents you wish to exempt or click the Select all option
- Click the Archive icon to change the document expiration status
- Update the status to Exempt from expungement or Mark for deletion
- Click Change retention status
Timeline Actions Related to Retention
Any user or system action related to retention now records timeline events on the request. This helps track actions related to the exemption and deletion of data.
Retention Notification Emails
- The Retention emails that go out to Admin users on the 15th of every month will show requests and documents together, in alphabetical order.
- All Requests and documents are hyperlinked so that they are a click away to review.
- If you do not have any documents or requests selected for deletion, it will be specified in the notification as shown below:
Frequently Asked Retention Questions
How is Retention calculated if I'm uploading documents directly to the Documents tab outside of a request?
The Start Date for the retention period is the date the document is uploaded or the manual document date (if any). By default, the document date is the date of upload.
Additionally, if you redact a document in NextRequest a new version of that document is created when the file is finalized, so the date of upload for redacted documents is the date of finalization.
Can I retrieve documents or requests after they are deleted due to retention? Is there an undo function?
No. Once documents or requests are deleted from retention they are gone forever. This is why it's super important if you are newly setting up retention for your portal and have had a portal for a while, you may want to set the retention period longer than the minimum required so that you have time to exempt requests and documents as needed.
Why would I want to exempt requests or documents from deletion?
The reasons for this vary but typically if it's beneficial for the document or request to continue to be available to the requester or the public for any reason we recommend exempting it from deletion. For example, this can be because there is not a newer version of that document available, the files pertaining to pending litigation, or the files are under another statute's jurisdiction that has a different retention period.