FOIA requests to Virginia police sometimes denied improperly

Suffolk, Va. – A review of thousands of police replies to citizens seeking public records shows most Hampton Roads departments follow the law, even if they only release the minimum required. However, NewsChannel 3 found dozens of instances where citizens were improperly denied records, where police cited the wrong codes and exemptions, or where authorities failed to cite the specific reasons they were withholding documents.

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Judge orders Utah Highway Patrol to share investigation into trooper

From The Salt Lake Tribune:  Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Shawn Alton says his 2011 request to search a man’s SUV and trailer had the proper approval.

But court records show the Emery County attorney told Alton he didn’t have enough probable cause to search Jeffrey Lawrence’s vehicle two years ago on the side of Interstate 70.

Now it’s Lawrence with a court order — to dig around into what UHP did to investigate Alton and the unlawful search.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for September 28, 2012

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

Obama cabinet flunks disclosure test with 19 in 20 ignoring law

Not just a state story, obviously, but interesting and important.

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Newspaper wins appeal for 2002 police report

From ForestLeaves:

Hillside Police Department must turn over a 2002 police report describing the arrest of Emanuel “Chris” Welch for domestic battery, the Illinois attorney general ordered Friday.

Forest Leaves has been seeking the report since January, but Hillside police refused a Freedom of Information Act request, saying there was no arrest and that the matter was private.

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