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Thread: Help with requesting information via OPRA.

  1. #1
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    Help with requesting information via OPRA.

    How can I request information under the OPRA? Is there a specific form needed? A fee?
    This is for a traffic stop/detainment.

    Any comments, or information would be greatly appreciated.

    TIA

    Countryclubjoe
    " I detest hypocrites and their Hypocrisy" I support Liberty for each, for all, and forever".
    Ask yourself, Do you own Yourself?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    How can I request information under the OPRA? Is there a specific form needed? A fee?
    This is for a traffic stop/detainment.

    Any comments, or information would be greatly appreciated.

    TIA

    Countryclubjoe
    You looking to inspect records or for copies? I only file requests to inspect records. From the linked pdf of a previous poster ... looks like they can charge for copies but I did not see where a request to inspect has any cost associated with it (then you can scan the copies yourself--many battery powered hand scanners work very well).

    80% of the time when I request to inspect records, they provide me free copies (yeah!)....either hardcopies or pdfs or other e-copy.

    Sometimes I want to inspect the originals as they may contain further information that is not shown on copies.

    If you have to ID yourself to inspect records is something to check out .... and a request to inspect needs to be in writing or not....

    For copies, I would say write a request via email to the custodian of the record. Most times if cost is low, they'll send you the record with a bill. A request is just a request ~ no formal type or form needed to be completed.

    If its in relation to you and a pending traffic case then you can ask for the record under your common law rights too but if your state sees a records request as conflicting with discovery is something I do not know but in many states record requests can be denied for that reason. Not in my state, CT. But one can still ask.

    And of course, exemptions and exceptions may be plead by the agency as a reason for not providing you with records.

    Make the request (to inspect or for copies - your choice) and post back if any issues arise.

    While many guides are out there ~ do not place 100% reliance on them...all requests are unique and have their own flavor to them.

  4. #4
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    OPRA is only applicable if it didn't result in a citation or arrest

    Couldn't tell from the post if the stop/detention resulted in one. If it did, the discovery process through the courts applies, and most states have laws that state public records statutes are not to be used as a substitute for discovery. It's a good thing,too-discovery allows much broader access, and is required to be free. Most states also have laws that exempt records of an ongoing investigations from public records laws, or that would reveal law enforcement tactics and techniques so bad guys won't learn their capabilities and how to avoid detection, so be on the lookout in the exceptions under OPRA they might be able to invoke to deny a request. However, people who were subjected to a stop or detention are almost universally allowed access to records created or arising from the interaction.

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