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Thread: Question about CHP Information

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    Question about CHP Information

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    Last edited by AFCop; 04-21-2013 at 05:47 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    After further thought, I have decided to rescind my posts. Suggest all others do the same. This information should not be out in the public arena.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 04-21-2013 at 04:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFCop View Post
    Isnt there, or wasnt there, a bill protecting information of people who have CHP's? I ask because a search under civil records from the court I obtained my CHP from (Newport News) has my name and the fact a CHP was issued at this website: http://wasdmz2.courts.state.va.us/CJISWeb

    Granite, they would have to know which court and my name but I dont want people to be able to piece information about be together and find out I have a CHP. Is there anything that can be done to have those types of records removed or redacted?

    Go to the website, look for your Circuit Court and search your name under civil (not criminal) and there it is...
    It appears that not all counties are submitting CHP info... mine does not come up. (which I'm happy about!)

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    Deleted I concur
    Last edited by AFCop; 04-21-2013 at 05:47 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    After further thought, I have decided to rescind my posts. Suggest all others do the same. This information should not be out in the public arena.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 04-21-2013 at 04:18 PM.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Yes, but as with all "normal" bills, this one does not go into effect until July 1.

    This is the first I've heard of CHP records being entered into the on-line docket system. We'll have to monitor that to ensure that they scrub this information.

    I personally suspect that on June 30th, or thereabouts, ALL the major and minor anti-gun media outlets in Virginia will be making one final trip to their local Clerk's office for a last copy of the CHP list.

    TFred
    Since CHPs are issued by court order, wouldn't every court be entering them into their docket system?

    Some questions come to mind:

    1) How does one get such an item purged from the docket (they're saved somewhere forever)?

    2) Going forward, how are clerks barred from entering new CHP submittals into their dockets? Dockets are public records (online or not), but don't really meet the notion of a list of CHP holders, although such a list could be gleaned from them. If you went to the courthouse and asked the clerk if a CHP existed for a given individual, and the clerk checked the dockets instead of their file of CHP orders, would the clerk be in violation of the (new) law?

    3) Is this an end run around the new shield law by anti shall issue judges?
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    I tried searching the last name of someone I know who lives in Prince William County... his CHP info came up.

    Also tried the same in Fauquier County... that guys CHP info came up. For Fauquier I searched for 'APPLICATION' in the name field and it appears that the entire CHP list is displayed.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    After further thought, I have decided to rescind my posts. Suggest all others do the same. This information should not be out in the public arena.

    TFred

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    I tried searching the last name of someone I know who lives in Prince William County... his CHP info came up.

    Also tried the same in Fauquier County... that guys CHP info came up. For Fauquier I searched for 'APPLICATION' in the name field and it appears that the entire CHP list is displayed.
    I tried "CONCEALED" for Newport News and got the same result.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    After further thought, I have decided to rescind my posts. Suggest all others do the same. This information should not be out in the public arena.

    TFred
    Too late, Tfred, by about two decades.

    The VA Bar Association, in conjunction with the Courts and the Virginia Department of IT began development of an on-line docket search system in the early '90s. I'm sure by now every reporter, activist, lawyer and criminal has learned how to use it.

    I was involved in the early testing of this "feature", way before web browsers. Such technology just made things easier.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Too late, Tfred, by about two decades.

    The VA Bar Association, in conjunction with the Courts and the Virginia Department of IT began development of an on-line docket search system in the early '90s. I'm sure by now every reporter, activist, lawyer and criminal has learned how to use it.

    I was involved in the early testing of this "feature", way before web browsers. Such technology just made things easier.
    To the contrary, at least two people, the OP and myself, did not know this was available until this thread came along. It is naive to believe that everyone else in the world already knows it is there. If you respect these folks privacy at all, why would you want to provide another avenue for someone to find out they have a CHP?

    Just because a situation is not good does not mean we should make it worse.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    To the contrary, at least two people, the OP and myself, did not know this was available until this thread came along. It is naive to believe that everyone else in the world already knows it is there. If you respect these folks privacy at all, why would you want to provide another avenue for someone to find out they have a CHP?

    Just because a situation is not good does not mean we should make it worse.

    TFred
    I posted early on when the law was being considered that there was always a way and usually a couple of dozen of them.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    To the contrary, at least two people, the OP and myself, did not know this was available until this thread came along. It is naive to believe that everyone else in the world already knows it is there. If you respect these folks privacy at all, why would you want to provide another avenue for someone to find out they have a CHP?

    Just because a situation is not good does not mean we should make it worse.

    TFred
    Getting caught by those technology time warps can cause a hell of a whiplash.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    I stopped by the Clerk's office in Fredericksburg today and had a chat with the assistant clerk. (Not sure if that's his actual title, but certainly is his job.)

    They are well aware of the July 1st change, but only because they have been following it on their own. They have heard nothing "official" yet from the Supreme Court. He joked that they usually get official notice the day before it has to be done...

    Couple of interesting items.

    1. He was aware that the CHP case information was visible in the on-line case record database. They asked the question, and were specifically directed that the existing records would remain. This seems to violate the law after July 1st, but I guess that's a question for someone else to ask the Attorney General to answer.

    2. After July 1st, new CHP case records will NOT appear in the case database. The records will be treated as confidential, and not visible.

    My conclusion and opinion: The ultimate answer to this problem is to take the CHP process away from the Circuit Court and transfer it to the State Police. When CHPs were "may issue" it made sense to handle it at the Circuit Court level. Now that they are "shall issue", I don't believe there are any records unique to the Circuit Court that factor into one's qualification for a CHP. Seems it would be cheaper to move it to Richmond, hire a handful of interns at $15/hour to do records searches and issue permits.

    I know some don't like pushing that sort of thing "up", but I don't see that it makes much difference, all the information goes "up" anyway.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    They asked the question, and were specifically directed that the existing records would remain. This seems to violate the law after July 1st, but I guess that's a question for someone else to ask the Attorney General to answer.
    Wow....I'd say unbelievable, but no, I can completely believe it. I wonder who the heck (leading question) told them that they could just leave all the existing records in the system, available, and that doing so wouldn't violate the new law.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I stopped by the Clerk's office in Fredericksburg today and had a chat with the assistant clerk. (Not sure if that's his actual title, but certainly is his job.)

    They are well aware of the July 1st change, but only because they have been following it on their own. They have heard nothing "official" yet from the Supreme Court. He joked that they usually get official notice the day before it has to be done...

    Couple of interesting items.

    1. He was aware that the CHP case information was visible in the on-line case record database. They asked the question, and were specifically directed that the existing records would remain. This seems to violate the law after July 1st, but I guess that's a question for someone else to ask the Attorney General to answer.

    2. After July 1st, new CHP case records will NOT appear in the case database. The records will be treated as confidential, and not visible.

    My conclusion and opinion: The ultimate answer to this problem is to take the CHP process away from the Circuit Court and transfer it to the State Police. When CHPs were "may issue" it made sense to handle it at the Circuit Court level. Now that they are "shall issue", I don't believe there are any records unique to the Circuit Court that factor into one's qualification for a CHP. Seems it would be cheaper to move it to Richmond, hire a handful of interns at $15/hour to do records searches and issue permits.

    I know some don't like pushing that sort of thing "up", but I don't see that it makes much difference, all the information goes "up" anyway.

    TFred
    Of whom did they ask the question?

    I concur. Probably need new legislation to get it done. The VSP will want funding for the interns, and the clerks will complain if their funding is cut to provide it. I'll bet that right now, everyone (budget types) thinks that having the courts handle this doesn't cost anything.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdan01 View Post
    Wow....I'd say unbelievable, but no, I can completely believe it. I wonder who the heck (leading question) told them that they could just leave all the existing records in the system, available, and that doing so wouldn't violate the new law.....
    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Of whom did they ask the question?
    Sorry, I sort of skipped over that part. Unlike many of the other clerks in Virginia, apparently mine stays in fairly close touch with the Supreme Court of Virginia. That was who told them to leave all the pre-July 1 records in place. More detail, the impression I got from our casual conversation is that they couldn't really figure out what to do with them, since they were already there. Points again to my opinion that this should not be handled by the court, which is designed around an open record system.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Sorry, I sort of skipped over that part. Unlike many of the other clerks in Virginia, apparently mine stays in fairly close touch with the Supreme Court of Virginia. That was who told them to leave all the pre-July 1 records in place. More detail, the impression I got from our casual conversation is that they couldn't really figure out what to do with them, since they were already there. Points again to my opinion that this should not be handled by the court, which is designed around an open record system.

    TFred
    Wow...still....I wonder who gave the Supreme Court of Virginia the legal authority to determine how the court clerks and system are to comply with the law. Isn't this the court then interpreting the law outside of their authority to examine it based on meaning, application or constitutionality which they have authority to do as part of the Judicial process? Meaning, this is administrative compliance with a law, so I wonder what gives them the supposed authority to then outside of the court to interpret the law (and determine that they can tell the court clerks what they do with their records.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdan01 View Post
    Wow...still....I wonder who gave the Supreme Court of Virginia the legal authority to determine how the court clerks and system are to comply with the law. Isn't this the court then interpreting the law outside of their authority to examine it based on meaning, application or constitutionality which they have authority to do as part of the Judicial process? Meaning, this is administrative compliance with a law, so I wonder what gives them the supposed authority to then outside of the court to interpret the law (and determine that they can tell the court clerks what they do with their records.
    Questions to which I do not know the answer. Our own Peter Nap seems to have the knack for exploring the Supreme Court. But he might not want to bother for another CHP issue. I doubt he's even following this thread any longer!

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 04-22-2013 at 05:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Questions to which I do not know the answer. Our own Peter Nap seems to have the knack for exploring the Supreme Court. But he might not want to bother for another CHP issue. I doubt he's even following this thread any longer!

    TFred

    Doesn't matter if he's following it or not...he's everywhere. We just have to say his name three times and he appears: Peter, Peter, Peter.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdan01 View Post
    Doesn't matter if he's following it or not...he's everywhere. We just have to say his name three times and he appears: Peter, Peter, Peter.....
    Within the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court's Executive Secretary. Their job (among other things)is to make sure the Clerks are in compliance with Virginia Law. For instance, the online case management system that each locality has is actually part of the Supreme Court system.

    They have complete control over the actions of GD Clerks but since the Circuit Court Clerk is an elected officer, there are some limits.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Within the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court's Executive Secretary. Their job (among other things)is to make sure the Clerks are in compliance with Virginia Law. For instance, the online case management system that each locality has is actually part of the Supreme Court system.

    They have complete control over the actions of GD Clerks but since the Circuit Court Clerk is an elected officer, there are some limits.
    With respect to the upcoming changes to 18.2-308 then, it seems we have a question with two possible answers.

    The code was changed in essence like this:

    From: The clerk of court may withhold from public disclosure the social security number contained in a permit application in response to a request to inspect or copy any such permit application

    To: The clerk of court shall withhold from public disclosure the applicant's name and any other information contained in a permit application or any order issuing a concealed handgun permit

    Question: Who is owner of the information contained in the on-line case database?

    Answer 1: The on-line case files are considered to be a part of each Circuit Court clerk's responsibility to populate and keep correct.

    Answer 2: The on-line case files are considered to be a part of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

    If Answer 1 is correct, it would seem that the case records that reveal the name of the permit holder will need to be hidden from public view on July 1st.

    If Answer 2 is correct, then it would seem we are going to need still more legislation to fix this issue.

    Note: The direction to "withhold from public disclosure" does not specifically address only new applications, it covers "a permit application". A permit application submitted prior to July 1st is still "a permit application."

    It seems pretty clear to me that this direction to leave the pre-July 1st applications on-line is nothing more than the easiest way out to a problem with a database not designed to hold private information. From what I can read, it does not appear to be the legal solution.

    TFred

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    With respect to the upcoming changes to 18.2-308 then, it seems we have a question with two possible answers.

    The code was changed in essence like this:
    From: The clerk of court may withhold from public disclosure the social security number contained in a permit application in response to a request to inspect or copy any such permit application

    To: The clerk of court shall withhold from public disclosure the applicant's name and any other information contained in a permit application or any order issuing a concealed handgun permit

    Question: Who is owner of the information contained in the on-line case database?

    Answer 1: The on-line case files are considered to be a part of each Circuit Court clerk's responsibility to populate and keep correct.

    Answer 2: The on-line case files are considered to be a part of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

    If Answer 1 is correct, it would seem that the case records that reveal the name of the permit holder will need to be hidden from public view on July 1st.

    If Answer 2 is correct, then it would seem we are going to need still more legislation to fix this issue.

    Note: The direction to "withhold from public disclosure" does not specifically address only new applications, it covers "a permit application". A permit application submitted prior to July 1st is still "a permit application."

    It seems pretty clear to me that this direction to leave the pre-July 1st applications on-line is nothing more than the easiest way out to a problem with a database not designed to hold private information. From what I can read, it does not appear to be the legal solution.

    TFred
    I don't have an answer TFred. The online system is a state system and maintained by VITA. Things get confusing past that point.

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