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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Indiana FOI Czar: No ID Needed

Indiana's public access counselor has determined the South Bend Police Department violated the state's Access to Public Records law in denying Roseland resident Dorothy Snyder access to information she requested.

On July 10, Snyder telephoned the police records department to ask for a case number of a police report from September 2006.

Snyder said the clerk asked her name and then asked with whom Snyder was affiliated. The clerk indicated she could not provide information unless she knew how Snyder was "connected."An officer then told Snyder he would not provide the information unless she came to the police department, according to Snyder's complaint.

After Snyder filed the complaint with the state public access counselor, the police department responded, saying information is not available over the telephone and must be obtained in person during the records department's business hours.

Public access counselor Heather Willis Neal said in her opinion that a police department may require a records request to be in writing and may refuse to provide information over the phone.

More here.

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