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Thread: Need help drafting an Open Records request

  1. #1
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    A new forum member had an encounter with police over the past weekend that did not result in charges being filed, but we need to collect as much information as possible regarding the incident and help out a fellow OC'er. In addition, I think police response may have been inappropriate and wouldlike to document.

    I would draft one myself, but I'm totally crunched for time this week. Can someone copy and paste a template of an open records request. I don't want to document the specifics of the case on the forum (but can discuss via pm)

    There was citizen that called police to report a "man with a gun" police respond, take witness statement who presumably gave license plate number, tracked person by vehicle registration.

    Let me know if I'm missing anything but the things we would want to document would be:

    -transcript of the citizen call to dispatch

    -transcript of any communication between officer and dispatch

    -copies of any statements made by citizen caller.

    -copies of incident report, officers notes

    -any other evidence gathered by responding officers

    Anything else I'm missing? This is Milwaukee Police Department. Does anyone have handy the address to send Open Records requests to?

  2. #2
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    Copy of arrest report.

    List of personal property taken by police.

    I found this sample on line. http://secure.uslegalforms.com/samples/US/US-004-PR.pdf

    This should work for you, just needs to be retyped.

  3. #3
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    Barbara Streisand. I have previously posted the link to the compliance guide that is on line. Here is the appropriate page...

    VI. The Request.
    A. Requests do not have to be in writing. Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(h).
    B. The requester generally does not have to identify himself or herself. Wis. Stat.
    § 19.35(1)(i). Caution: Substantive statutes, such as those concerning student
    records and health records, may restrict record access to certain persons. When
    records of that nature are the subject of a public records request, the custodian
    should confirm before releasing the records that the requester is someone statutorily
    authorized to obtain the requested record. See Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(i) for other
    limited circumstances in which a requester may be required to show identification.
    C. The requester does not need to state the purpose of the request. Wis. Stat.
    § 19.35(1)(h) and (i).
    D. The request must be reasonably specific as to subject matter and length of time
    involved. Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(h). Schopper v. Gehring, 210 Wis. 2d 208, 212-13,
    565 N.W.2d 187 (Ct. App. 1997) (request for tape and transcript of three hours of
    911 calls on 60 channels is not reasonably specific).
    1. The purpose of the time and subject matter limitations is to prevent
    unreasonably burdening a records custodian by requiring the custodian to
    spend excessive amounts of time and resources responding to a request.
    Schopper, 210 Wis. 2d at 213; WIREdata, 2007 WI App 22, ¶ 51.
    2. The public records law will not be interpreted to impose such a burden upon
    a records custodian that normal functioning of the office would be severely
    impaired. Schopper, 210 Wis. 2d at 213, WIREdata, 2007 WI App 22, ¶ 51.
    E. “Magic words” are not required.
    1. A request which reasonably describes the information or record requested is
    sufficient. Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(h).
    2. A request, reasonably construed, triggers the statutory requirement to
    respond. For example, a request made under the “Freedom of Information
    Act” should be interpreted as being made under Wisconsin Public records
    law. See ECO, Inc. v. City of Elkhorn, 2002 WI App 302, ¶ 23,
    259 Wis. 2d 276, 655 N.W.2d 510.
    F. “Continuing” requests are not contemplated by the public records law. “The
    right of access applies only to records that exist at the time the request is made, and
    the law contemplates custodial decisions being made with respect to a specific
    request at the time the request is made.” 73 Op. Att’y Gen. 37, 44 (1984).


  4. #4
    Centurion
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    Samuel Morse, thank-you for your help!

  5. #5
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    Nik, Here is a usable Open Records Request Form.
    It is created in Word, so you should be able to edit and type in the info.



  6. #6
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    awesome, thanks james!

  7. #7
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    Any updates concerning this case?
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 - "A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but the fool's heart to the left."

  8. #8
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    Well he wasn't charged, so the only issue is return of property. I know his property has not been returned, but he has started the process of doing so. He isn't on the forum very often. (not a computer person) but I have suggested he tell "his story" here soon. Especially because I think there are some great pro-active lessons to be learned from it.

    If he doesn't post up soon, I'll have to give my cliff notes version



  9. #9
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    His story was on here briefly,
    And there was alot of admissive statements that could have been used as good evidence againstthis personif they later decided to levy charges against this person. (I hope we are speaking of the same individual) A few laws were actually broken in his actions, and he should thank his lucky stars that the investigating officer missed them.

    I am not going to repeat anything that was stated becuase f that, even though it could be dismissed as hearsay in court.



  10. #10
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    A few laws were actually broken in his actions, and he should thank his lucky stars that the investigating officer missed them.
    A law-abiding citizen was making every effort to comply with Wisconsin's conflicting and ambiguous gun laws.

    As for lucky stars, I don't know whats lucky about living in a state where a law-abiding citizenso well intentioned that they went so far as to contact local PD's previously to ask questions to be certain he was within the law STILL found themselves at the mercy of a police department that ITSELF didn't know the laws and had such a desire to use every possible opportunity to exercise NO discretion and arrest a well intentioned citizen.

    As for the post being removed, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

    Even the law abiding must protect themselves from the police.





  11. #11
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    hugh jarmis wrote:
    A few laws were actually broken in his actions, and he should thank his lucky stars that the investigating officer missed them.
    A law-abiding citizen was making every effort to comply with Wisconsin's conflicting and ambiguous gun laws.

    As for lucky stars, I don't know whats lucky about living in a state where a law-abiding citizenso well intentioned that they went so far as to contact local PD's previously to ask questions to be certain he was within the law STILL found themselves at the mercy of a police department that ITSELF didn't know the laws and had such a desire to use every possible opportunity to exercise NO discretion and arrest a well intentioned citizen.

    As for the post being removed, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

    Even the law abiding must protect themselves from the police.



    PM Sent for privacy reasons.

    And if it is the same person that we are referring to, We had conversed VIA PM also to keep things out of the public eye, And yes I stressed heavily that speaking to the police without proper representation can create nothing good at all. Even if you are totally innocent, speaking with police is a bad idea IMO.

  12. #12
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    If everything is so private about this why is there a thread about it?

  13. #13
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    Because in the event the police do decide to press charges any statements on here could be used against the person.

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