Archive for the ‘Virginia’ Category

This week in public records – Virginia – California – Iowa – Mississippi

The Virgina legislature is entertaining bills that would alter public records.

For example, there’s a bill to remove Social Security numbers from court documents and land records. Another would remove Social Security numbers from voter records before those records are sold to anyone in another state. A third just makes it generally illegal to make publicly available someone else’s Social Security number, even if the number was gotten from public documents.

Some California police departments have had the support of judges in keeping search warrant affidavits out of court files. All this may change because of an appeals court decision.

The Superior Courts in Los Angeles and Orange counties have for years allowed police to keep the only version of the sealed affidavit they use to obtain a search warrant without filing a copy with the court, a practice that defense attorneys said was rife with potential abuse.

The use of the procedure in Orange County began receiving attention two weeks ago, after a state appeals court ruling in a local case involving a search warrant.

Asked by a reporter, Los Angeles County Superior Court officials said this week that judges there also allowed officers to keep the sealed affidavits.

The practice was so little-known that the Los Angeles County public defenders office, with one of the largest caseloads in the country, did not learn about it until the appeals court decision.

Keeping the previous story in mind, it comes as no surprise that the First Amendment advocate, Californians Aware, has uncovered wide spread violations of the California Public Records Act by law enforcement agencies. Read the report, Public Access to Law Enforcement Information, which includes statistics and a database of audit results by agency.

Medical privacy does not have primacy over the collection of unpaid bills, according to a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling. The collection agency included an itemized medical invoice in a court filing, but that action did not breach patient privacy because it didn’t contain confidential doctor-patient communications.

Iowa Court records related to juveniles will no longer be included in the court system’s online database.

Under a new law starting this month, names of juveniles who are ten to 17 will only appear online when a case is completed and the individual has been found guilty.

This Week In Public Records – California – Virginia

Search real property profiles and current and historical building permits by parcel number or address for unincorporated Sonoma County, California.

Virginia has expanded its listings of incarcerations at the VineLink site, with plans to add all local jails. This is a good source for verifying the location of an inmate, but the site also lists former inmates who are deceased.

This week in public records – Vermont – Virginia

The Vermont Criminal Information Center is now providing statewide criminal history checks to all employers, in accordance with a change in the state law. Requests for criminal conviction history must mailed and include an authorization from the applicant. Increased ease of access to criminal records will relieve employers from searching each of Vermont’s county courts.

Virginia is expanding the types of correctional facilities that will be included in the Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) program. Over the next two years, information on criminal offenders incarcerated at jails will be added to the VINE Web site, which already lists prisoners in state facilities.

FTC seeks permanent injunctions in federal court against phone subscriber data brokers

The Federal Trade Commission, with assistance from the major cell phone carriers, has filed civil suits in 5 federal jurisdictions against resellers of telephone call records, seeking to bar them from this activity and to press them to deliver, to the federal government, any profits they’ve obtained.

U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Federal Trade Commission v. 77 INVESTIGATIONS, INC., and REGINALD KIMBRO:

The FTC brings this action pursuant to Section 13(b) of l9 the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC net’), 15 U.S.C. S 53(b), to secure permanent injunctive relief, rescission of contracts,
2211 restitution, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and other equitable relief against Defendants for violations of Section 23 24 II S(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § aS(a), in connection with surreptitiously obtaining and selling confidential customer phone records without the customer knowledge or authorization.

Read the FTC press release and all case complaints.

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