Archive for the ‘Idaho’ Category
Idaho court records index for all 44 counties is online at the Idaho State Judiciary, Supreme Court Data Repository. Search by partial name for records from 1995 forward (some older cases may be available, according to the court Web site). The search form suggests that date of birth is a required field, but I found that a search by name only worked.
The index lists party names, city and state of residence, county of filing, case numbers, charges (or case type, in civil filings), filing or violation date, disposition and register of actions. Year of birth is listed on criminal cases. If a case has been sealed, that is noted. The cases are sorted by county. If there’s more than one case for that person in the selected county those are all listed on one page.
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.
The California Supreme Court seems to be leaning toward the interpretation of state law granting the public access to the names and salaries of government employees, including police officers. A ruling is expected within 3 months. A favorable ruling for the newspapers that filed the lawsuits could help private investigators in police misconduct cases track the employment of officers across departments.
The Computer Services Bureau of the California Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission maintains a database of peace officer records to track employment training.
California criminal defense attorneys and investigators, and crime reporters will want to consult the 2007 Legal Update, a 150 page guide to legislation, case law and Attorney General Opinions enacted in the past year related to law enforcement.
Idaho has received a grant to expand its victim notification service (VINE) beyond the state prison system to its county jails. The complete network should be operational by next year.
Photos for inmates at the Utah County, Utah jail are back online after being removed because someone downloaded a bunch of photos and posted them to another site. To their credit, the County Attorney and Sheriff emerged from their huddle with a wise decision: fix the technological problem and get the public records back online.
Jennifer LaFleur discusses some of the troubling legislation that passed and failed in Texas recently, including the closure of the concealed gun registrations database to public inspection.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the courts, not government entities determine which emails generated by agencies are public records. Calaveras County, California, seems to be taking a serious look at its electronic records storage policy. Check out the Federal Judicial Center “Links” page for electronic discovery resources.
Gifts, investments, outside income, business relationships and other economic interests of top public agency employees and elected officials of San Bernardino County, California are now posted online in a database. Search by filer name, filing date, position or department name. San Bernardino is the first California county to put these records online, according to a report in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The Statement of Economic Interests, California Fair Political Practices Form 700, is filed each year with the government official’s home county, or with the state Fair Political Practices Commission for state elected officers, legislators, judges and court commissioners, and members of the state boards and commissions.
The San Bernardino County filings begin with 2006; the home addresses are redacted from the forms.
Maryland law now allows people arrested but not charged to expunge their police records.
The Nevada Senate is considering AB600, which has passed the Assembly, a bill that will allow people to redact their personal identifying information from public records which they previously filed. The last 4 digits of the Social Security number are not personal information and will be allowed on public records. The 4 number identifier will be required on judgments.
The Idaho state Supreme Court ruled that emails sent between county employees are public records.
Even though federal law makes certain student records confidential that does not prevent the public release of redacted student disciplinary records, according to a decision by the Montana Supreme Court.
A Wisconsin federal jury concluded that a police officer unlawfully disclosed a woman’s address to her ex husband, a violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. An exception is made for the service of legal papers, which was a ruse used by the ex husband, who was subject to a restraining order, which the police officer neglected to see when he checked a court index. The case has had a chilling effect on other police departments, one of which is no longer allowing the public to view traffic violation citations.
The Texas House passed HB 2061, Relating to the acquisition or disclosure of the social security number of a living person by a governmental body, including by a district or county clerk, which allows county clerks to release documents that have social security numbers on them.
The Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on this Bill is taking place Monday, March 12. County clerks and real estate title company representatives are speaking in support of the Bill and the recording of only the last 4 digits of the social security number on all documents, which are usually only on federal tax liens and child support tax liens. One clerk has stated that the new federal tax liens only contain the last 4 numbers. Several clerks have pointed out that they don’t have the resources to redact SSNs or to digitize records.
The urgent legislation was necessary because of the disruption to government activity brought about by the recent opinion by the Texas Attorney General. The bill also allows clerks to redact social security numbers, when requested. One clerk said “she plans on requiring a notary public’s seal on all redaction requests submitted to her office.” Will the redaction requests be released as a public record, with the social security number redacted, of course?
The Idaho State Death Index has been updated to include an additional 3 years. Coverage now runs from 1911-1956.
OpentheGovernment.org lists several new reports released by open government organizations. The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) report, Federal Controls on State Information Disclosure:FERPA, HIPAA and DPPA, addresses “barriers to state records that federal legislation erects.”
Also, go to The National Freedom of Information Coalition site for a 50 state resource guide to state public information access laws, FOI advocates, publications and form letters for public record requests. Follow the links at each state site to reach the state organizations that advocate for open records.
The Idaho Press Club, guide to Idaho Pronunciations wards off embarrassment for outsiders calling locals. The New Jersey Foundation for Open Records doesn’t have nearly the resources of other state open government sites but they provide a reference for Open Public Records Act Cases by Subject. The state page for Iowa lists the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which cites the state laws on public access to government information but also has explanatory notes. The Iowa Association of Private Investigators is among this organization’s members, setting an example that all private investigator professional groups should follow with their state Freedom of Information advocates.
The Canadian Newspaper Association posts Freedom of Information Audits on the response of federal, municipal and provincial governments to public information requests.
Federal FOIA resources include sample letters and international FOI laws.
[Note: This post was revised January 20, 2012.]