AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Procedural: Police Records/Reports
Board's "narrative report" on police shooting based on internal
affairs reports and shooting review board reports was a confidential "personnel
record" that could not be released to the public under California
law. Davis v. City of San Diego, No. D039093, 131 Cal. Rptr. 2d 266 (Cal.
App. 4th Dist. 2003). [2003 LR Oct]
Newspaper was entitled to inspect police records relating to alleged police misconduct, including records relating to internal investigation, except for disciplinary letter issued by police chief to officer detailing findings of investigation. Letter was a "personnel record" exempt from disclosure under Massachusetts state public records law, but other documents relating to citizen's allegations of police brutality, including police reports, witness interview summaries, and internal affairs report were not "personnel records" protected from disclosure. Worchester Telegram & Gazette Corporation v. Chief of Police of Worcester, No. 02-P-1632, 787 N.E.2d 682 (Mass. App. 2003). [N/R]
Community group was entitled to access to disclosure of city police department records pertaining to civilian complaints of police misconduct, under Rhode Island statute, and trial court could waive costs of retrieval and award group reasonable attorneys' fees. Police chief was entitled however, to exclude Social Security numbers and badge numbers of police officers against whom complaints had been received. Direct Action for Rights and Equality v. Gannon, Nos. 99-22-Appeal, 819 A.2d 651 (R.I. 2003). [N/R]
Defendant in cocaine possession case did not present a plausible factual basis for his claim of police misconduct sufficient to provide good cause for discovery of confidential police personnel files of the officers involved in his arrest. Warrick v. Superior Court, No. B160462, 132 Cal. Rptr. 2d 810 (Cal. App. 2003). [N/R]
Police department records generated during an investigation of an officer were exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, Ann. Cal. Gov. Code Sec. 6250 et seq., even if there was no danger of disclosing an informants' identity or revealing investigative techniques, based on the policy concern of ensuring "candid disclosures" during such investigations. Rackauckas v. Superior Court, No. G030680, 128 Cal. Rptr. 2d 234 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2002). [N/R]
Personal e-mails sent and received by city employees are not "public records" subject to disclosure under Florida's public records law, F.S.A. Sec. 119.021. Times Publishing Company v. City of Clearwater, No. 2D01-3055, 830 So. 2d 844 (Fla. App. 2d Dist. 2002). [N/R]
Freedom of information act law enforcement exemption extended to records not originally assembled for law enforcement purposes John Doe Agency v. John Doe Corp, 110 S.Ct. 471 (1989).
Court orders trial court to issue signed order so that defendants can appeal decision to disclose psychological evaluations of police in shooting case Herbert v. City of New York, 510 N.Y.S.2d 112 (A.D. 1 Dept 1987).
"Street files" ordered disclosed Palmer v. City of Chicago, 755 F.2d 560 (7th Cir. 1985).
Traffic accident report improperly admitted as evidence. Frias v. Valle, 698 P.2d 875 (Nev 1985).
Police officer has no private right of action for fellow officer's disclosing his personnel record to discourage promotion. Carpenter v. City of Pittsburgh, 484 N.Y.S.2d 284 (A.D. 3 Dept 1985).
Off-duty officer's police report not admitted; judgment against her. Christmas v. Sanders, 759 F.2d 1284 (7th Cir. 1985).
Failure to expunge arrestee's record not actional under Section 1983 Bird v. Summit County, Ohio, 730 F.2d 442 (6th Cir. 1984).
Internal investigation files involving prior complaints against officers discoverable Barfield v. City of Seattle, 676 P.2d 438 (Wash 1984).
Court orders inspection of deputy's records of fees received for serving civil process Wiggins v. McDevitt, 473 A.2d 420 (Me 1984).
Private investigators denied weapon permits entitled to examine sheriff's method of handling applications. Guillory v. County of Orange, 731 F.2d 1379 (9th Cir. 1984).
Traffic accident computer tape not available to plaintiff conducting statistical survey Mullin v. Detroit Police Dept, 348 N.W.2d 708 (Mich.App. 1984).
Past incidents can not be used to discredit officer in assault suit. Sacramento City Police v. Superior Court, 203 Cal.Rptr. 169 (App. 1984).
Law firm granted accident reports minus names and addresses. Scott v. City of Syracuse, 480 N.Y.S.2d 643 (Onondaga County, 1984).
Police blotter available to newspaper City of Houston v. Houston Chronicle Pub. Co, 673 S.W.2d 316 (Tex.App. 1984).
Officers' complaints about police chief available to newspaper under public disclosure act Columbian Pub Co v. City of Vancouver, 671 P.2d 280 (Wash App. 1983).
While a right may exist to photocopy employment records of officers, no right exists to copy personnel identification records Angelico v. Lee, 441 So.2d 355 (La App. 1983).
Police department's civilian complaint procedure requiring citizens to verify their allegations against police officers upheld Appletree v. City of Hartford, 555 F.Supp. 224 (D. Conn 1983).
Newspaper gains access to police records on "speeders and law violators" Johnson Newspaper Corp v. Stainkamp, 463 N.Y.S.2d 122 (App. 1983).
Newspapers have right to gain access to "daily log" and case reports Sheridan Newspapers, Inc v. City of Sheridan, 660 P.2d 785 (Wyo 1983).
Officers' personnel records can be disclosed during his criminal investigation Tribune Co v. Cannella, 438 So.2d 516 (Fla App. 1983).
Newspaper entitled to officer's incident report on police shooting Evening News Ass'n v. City of Troy, 339 N.W.2d 421 (Mich 1983); reversing 300 N.W.2d 667
Producer of 6O Minutes has First Amendment rights to inspect police records Loewenwarter v. Morris, 420 So.2d 550 (La App. 1982).
Police reports of brutality not considered personnel matters and therefore are not exempt from disclosure The Rake v. Gorodetsky, 452 A.2d 1144 (RI 1982).
County supervisor violated privacy protection act by obtaining investigation report in her official capacity and using it for personal reasons Hinderliter v. Humphries, 297 S.E.2d 684 (Va 1982).
" See also: Firearms Related: Intentional Use; Negligence: Vehicle Related
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