This week in public records: California – Idaho – Utah – Texas – Arizona

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.


Leave a Reply