Archive for the ‘North Dakota’ Category
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.
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The North Dakota Supreme Court district court calendars and court case information can be searched by name, citation number, or case number. Municipal court case information is also available for Bismarck, Mandan, Dickinson, Williston, Minot, Devils Lake, Jamestown, Wahpeton, and West Fargo. Supreme Court Announcement
The Rhode Island Department of Corrections Inmate Search provides details for those currently incarcerated in either a Rhode Island or out of state prison or under home confinement. The database can be searched by partial name and returns an extensive amount of data on past convictions. [Reported in beSpacific]
DormItem is a Craigslist for colleges. Search within a school or across all listed schools by keyword to find people who are selling stuff or have apartments for rent.
The Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators database is now available en Español.
The public’s right to access public records supersedes laws relieving government agencies from compiling new records, according to a recent North Dakota Attorney General Opinion. The Department of Transportation denied a request for records by Carfax, although the state public records access law requires that “an electronically stored record under this section [44-04-18], or a copy thereof, must be provided at the requester’s option in either a printed document or through any other available medium.” ND DOT responded that it wasn’t required to create or compile a record that does not exist. The Attorney General disagreed, requiring corrective measures be instituted within 7 days.
Pennsylvania district judges were upbraided by the administrator for the state courts for redacting court files without any legal authority.
The North Dakota Attorney General ruled against a county Sheriff for rejecting a public records request without citing any legal authority. The AG also noted that the Sheriff obstructed the requester’s objective by not pointing out that the records existed in a form other than the one identified in the record request.
An online database of stolen vehicles in Arizona can be searched by license plate number or VIN. The site is operated by the Arizona Attorney General.
A private security company operating in North Dakota may review a videotape to detect theft but only a licensed private investigator “may investigate to determine a
person’s conduct”, according to a recent opinion issued by the North Dakota attorney general.
Therefore, it is my opinion that a private security service may not review videotapes after the fact to determine what activity took place because that activity constitutes “investigating,” which requires a private investigative service license. Whether any particular activity is “investigating” rather than providing “security service” is usually a question of fact on which this office will not opine.12 However, since the information on the gaming reports at issue generally does not involve theft or the detection of theft, it is my opinion that the review of videotapes after the fact in order to ascertain sufficient information to complete those gaming reports clearly falls outside providing a “security service” and is an investigative activity which requires a private investigative service license.