Notre Dame wins police records lawsuit filed by ESPN

The University of Notre Dame's campus police department is not a "public agency" under Indiana law and does not have to provide information about investigations requested by sports media company ESPN, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in a widely watched case.

The decision, released Wednesday afternoon, means Notre Dame and other private colleges in Indiana with police forces have no obligation to provide details of campus police reports and investigations.

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Indiana Supreme Court considers whether private university police records should be open to public

Should police departments operated by private universities in Indiana be subject to the same open records requirements that apply to state, county and municipal police agencies?

The five justices of the Indiana Supreme Court wrestled with that question during 45 minutes of oral arguments Tuesday as the University of Notre Dame urged the high court to continue allowing it to keep secret all campus police records, especially those pertaining to student athletes.

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A handcuffed bill on college police records in Indiana

The sponsors of House Bill 1022 insist they want private universities in Indiana to be more open with police records. The bill, they say, will create a new and stronger level of transparency. And the universities themselves, who helped craft the bill, have said they want to be more open when it comes to public safety.

The bill comes in the wake of controversies about sexual assault investigations on university campuses, as well as a lawsuit by media giant ESPN on whether police records by the University of Notre Dame should be public.

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