Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category
The Iowa legislature is chewing over the notion that open government records may be responsible for identity theft and should be restricted. The Identity Theft Prevention Study Committee met last month and developed a collection of recommendations, including redacting certain “personal information” — that fuzzy term has yet to be defined — in public records. One of the panelists, Dan Combs of The Coalition for Sensible Public Records Access , a consortium of commercial public records aggregators, argued that redaction of public records is ineffectual and misses the supposed objective of curtailing “identity theft”, another fuzzy term. The Coalition site has position papers and summaries on public records access, such as this one on the important uses of the Social Security number by businesses and government.
What other constructive uses of the SSN identifier would you add?
Now, head down to Arizona where the Phoenix City Attorney has advised the police department to restrict disclosure of police records on the handy claim that thieves are scouring public records for personal information. The police department will start redacting victim names, birth dates of suspects AND those who are convicted and sitting in jail, and the addresses where crimes are committed. The dictum is being unevenly enforced, different types of data being excised, or not at all. Phoenix may expand this scattered policy to include code enforcement records. Which state law is this suppose to comport with?
All disciplinary records of Arizona government employees become public records September 28, 2008. Arizona Revised Statutes adds section 39-128, Disciplinary records of public officers and employees; disclosure; exceptions.
Release of home address, telephone number and photograph of people in certain job categories (law enforcement) is restricted.
The Arizona Ombudsman produces a monthly educational newsletter, The Public Law. A recent issue offers agencies guidance that speaks to the complaints of private investigators, reporters, and all those who request public records. Read, Public Records Law 101: Avoid the top ten most common pitfalls.
Does your state have an open records law related to government employee discipline records?
Government agencies in California can’t assign control of records that would otherwise be public records to a private entity. SB 1696 enrolled. New Law Allows Greater Access to Government Contracts, PolitickerCA.com, Adam Keigwin.
A Pennsylvania open records blog reports that the recent overhaul of the Pennsylvania Right To Know Law includes a requirement that records held by private companies doing business with the government may be a public record.
Emails on the private home computers of government appointees serving on a foundation benefiting public schools are public records, according to an opinion by the North Dakota Attorney General.
I recently discovered that police records in Arizona, even in open investigations, are public records. Public Records Free Directory blog reports that new legislation requires government employee disciplinary records be disclosed, with a provision that police officer’s home addresses are protected.
The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania is formulating new policies regarding public access to court case files. The Notice from the court highlights the proposed removal of Social Security numbers and bank account numbers from future court files. The public can submit comments by email, which are due by May 28, 2008.
An Opinion issued by the North Dakota Attorney General confirms that email messages from government employees “acting within the scope of their public positions” are public records “regardless of whether it is located at their private homes or businesses.”
Last year, I wrote about a similar determination by the Idaho Supreme Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court. The courts, not the government entity, must determine whether public employees’ emails are private, according to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Read a recent round-up of other state court decisions: Are public employee e-mails secret?, The Des Moines Register, March 18, 2008.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press tracks public records news. Subscribe by email or RSS.
It will be easier to find Florida public records through a Google search without having to mine each government database, now that the Florida state government has a cooperative arrangement with Google to index their sites.
Search the name “Villalobos” within Florida government records by formulating this query:
All of the initial results are for Senator Villalobos at the legislature’s Web site. If he’s not your target, search again, removing that site:
One set of public records is various state license holders.
Examine the search results to uncover new types of public records. Scroll down to the link to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement document listing a “Villalobos” among those receiving an Intoxilyzer test. If you go to the public records section at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Alcohol Testing Program you’ll see a jumble of files that aren’t searchable here, but content within them can be plumbed at a search engine.
This document image tells you that Villalobos’ arrest took place in Broward County, which is helpful because names in the Florida court case indices won’t come up in a search engine.
I previously wrote about the other state governments – Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia - whose sites Google is also indexing.
The Ohio Office of Homeland Security, which licenses security guards, is having trouble keeping an accurate count of licensees since a recent requirement went into effect that employers register each new security guard hire. [State system doesn’t allow exact accounting of security guards, CantonRep.com, May 29, 2007.]
The state estimates about 21,000 individuals holding security guard licenses but says that number could be inflated by as much as 3,000 since employees are registered each time they go to work for a new company, meaning some could be registered multiple times.
Meanwhile, changes in access to public records in Ohio may make it difficult for even law enforcement to do background checks. Recently passed legislation shields personal information in public records on some government employees and their family members.
The New York Drug Dealer Registry Act, recently introduced legislation, would require drug dealers with felony convictions to register upon release from prison.
The North Carolina Court of Appeal ruled against a newspaper that sought clemency appeal applications under the state public records law. [North Carolina Appeals Court Holds That Public Records Act Does Not Apply to Clemency Applications, Media Law Prof, June 7, 2007]
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agrees with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that juror names are releasable under the state public records act. The newspaper was rebuffed in its request for juror addresses. [Names of criminal trial jurors are public, RCFP, June 5, 2007]
The Arizona Court of Appeal agreed with Phoenix Newspaper, Inc. that a claim for damages made against a school district is a public record, even in the case of a rape of a minor. [Ruling: Rape victim's compensation claim public record, Arizona Republic, June 12, 2007]