Archive for the ‘Kansas’ Category
I guess the sex offender registries have been a sufficiently popular idea that states are continuing to create boutique criminal records databases. Baltimore, Maryland recently approved legislation that would create a public Gun Offenders Registry, requiring those convicted of gun related offenses register their name, address, and photograph with the police department. As yet, a Web database is not available.
California could become the first state to have a Domestic Violence Offenders Registry.
Minnesota, Tennessee and Illinois have Methamphetamine Offenders Registries. Montana includes convicted meth manufacturers in its Sexual and Violent Offender Registry. Oklahoma lists the offenses that require registration in its Sex and Violent Crime Offender Registry. Georgia, Kansas Kentucky and Connecticut briefly considered adding a violent offender registry to their roster of convicted criminal databases. Similar legislation is still alive in Hawaii.
The Illinois State Police maintains the Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry.
Find out if a Michigan drivers license is valid or has been suspended or revoked by searching the Repeat Offender Inquiry.
And, on the meth makers theme, the DEA National Clandestine Laboratory Register, “contains addresses of some locations where law enforcement agencies reported they found chemicals or other items that indicated the presence of either clandestine drug laboratories or dumpsites.”
Add Florida to the list of states that are concocting ill conceived “identity theft” legislation. Before long it’ll be a crime to know another person’s name. HB 1117 seeks to make possession of personal identifying information on a person without their prior approval a felony. The legislative staff analysis provides a summary.
HB 1117 also creates a new section of statute which provides that any person who willfully possesses “sensitive personal information” concerning an individual without first obtaining that individual’s consent commits a third degree felony. The term “sensitive personal information” is defined to mean any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual
• Alien registration number
• Government passport number
• Employer or taxpayer identification number
• Medicaid or food stamp account number
• Bank account number
• Credit or debit card number
• Unique biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation
Unlike the identity theft statute, this section will not require proof that the person possessed the sensitive personal information with intent to fraudulently use it – only that the person willfully possessed it without first
obtaining permission of the individual.
Florida Bill HB 1211 would make distributing personal information without that person’s permission a misdemeanor. Are legislators being lazy in crafting laws that are so broad, or are they trying to bring legitimate business and the functions of the courts to a complete standstill?
HB 1213 bars the release of personal identifying information in public records. Other proposed legislation would remove certain information from court files and restrict the release of motor vehicle records.
I’d like to hear from private investigators, attorneys and journalists in Florida about the prospects of these measures. I sure hope they’re all working together.
AP story: Scores of legislative bills seek to limit public’s access to Florida records
On a more upbeat note, an Oregon government site has created a directory and search engine for locating databases of city, county, state and federal licenses, certifications, permits, and registrations. Quickly locate the Web site to lookup professional licenses and business permits. This is an ongoing project and most of the current links are state agencies.
A Kansas newspaper editorial elucidates just one of the many reasons why the Kansas Supreme Court’s mandate that government agencies redact personal information before releasing records to the public is harmful. The case is Data Tree, LLC v. Bill Meek, Sedgwick County Register of Deeds.
Unsolved criminal case files may be public records, not necessarily “open investigation” cases, according to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The court sided with the newspaper in, Athens Newspapers, L.L.C. v. Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, which asserted that a 1992 unsolved murder case was dormant and the police were defeating the purpose of the Open Records Act by claiming the case was still pending.
You may have noticed that there’s a trend toward eliminating personal identifiers – social security numbers, dates of birth and addresses – from all public records. Any publicly filed documents containing social security numbers are subject to being altered, removing the SSN identifier, or rejected until the personal information is redacted. Currently, financial records, tax liens, deeds and mortgage loan documents are being changed to the extent that it will become impossible to verify whether a federal, state or municipal tax lien belongs to a particular individual.
Fraud investigators, people finders, heir locators, financial lenders and journalists checking on the fitness of our politicians all rely on the unique identifier to develop background and verify identity.
The complete social security number is being removed from filed documents, not just from the Internet indexes and images. And guess what? The commercial databases aren’t going to be able to provide search results that cross reference SSNs on tax liens or judgments filed with county recorder’s offices with a name or address. The indexes of the data resellers are only as good as the original records.
The Missouri Secretary of State just announced that she’s removed the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) document images from the Web site.
The Secretary of State’s Office is taking every step possible to protect personal identification information (Social Security Numbers and Federal Identification Numbers) while continuing to provide service to our customers. As part of that effort, our office has temporarily removed Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) images from the web site as they may inadvertently contain personal identification information.
Although the Virginia legislature has yet to enact a pending bill that would remove SSNs from land records and court filings, Nevada county recorders are rejecting filings that contain social security numbers. This new requirement has created a mess in the courts because the County Clerk is required to submit affirmations that the “5,000 documents filed every day in District Court” have the social security numbers removed. Even in the relatively lower volume state of Vermont the county clerks are overwhelmed by the mandate to extract SSNs from previously submitted documents. The Kansas legislature apparently didn’t consider the costly (both personal and financial, to government and business) consequences of redacting data, declaring that
Unless required by federal law, no document available for public inspection or copying shall contain an individual’s social security number if such document contains such individual’s personal information.
Personal information is name, address, phone number or e-mail address. This applies to
documents recorded in the official records of any recorder of deeds of the county or to any documents filed in the official records of the court and shall be included, but not limited to, such documents of any records that when filed constitutes:
(1) A consensual or nonconsensual lien;
(2) an eviction record;
(3) a judgment;
(4) a conviction or arrest;
(5) a bankruptcy;
(6) a secretary of state filing; or
(7) a professional license.
Humm, no name on a professional license…
All of the 50 state governments will eventually succumb to this “identity theft” protection measure on court records, UCC filings and mortgage loan documents.
Why don’t these state legislatures follow the federal model, masking only part of the SSN, which achieves the aims of fraud prevention while keeping the unique association of the number with a name?
Not to be confused with the Connecticut Judicial Branch Task Force on Public Access, Governor Rell’s Commission on Judicial Reform has issued its final report. The Commission made recommendations on broadcast coverage of court proceedings and proposed opening “juvenile proceedings concerning abused, neglected, uncared for, and dependent children, and proceedings concerning the termination of parental rights.”
The Kansas legislature will entertain a bill to add those convicted of meth offences to a statewide registry.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling reinstitutes the death penalty in Kansas. Read the Kansas attorney general’s press release and listen to his press conference.
The United States Supreme Court today reversed a December 2004 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court and ruled that the Kansas death penalty statute is constitutional.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that a state may constitutionally require the death penalty if mitigating and aggravating factors are in equal balance.
On December 17, 2004, the Kansas Supreme Court, on a 4-3 vote, struck down the state’s death penalty statute. Attorney General Kline immediately filed a motion to stay the ruling and indicated his intention to seek a reversal of the state court’s decision by the United States Supreme Court. On December 20, 2004, the Kansas Supreme Court granted that stay.
The Kansas Supreme Court met with mighty resistence when it tried to force Johnson County – the lone holdout – to comply with the fee-only access to statewide electronic court records. The persistent county has garnered the backing of the legislature for free access to the statewide electronic court index. Just to show who’s boss, the elected agents of the people propose to pay for the free online access with funds that were slated for judicial pay increases. Read all about it.