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 Data Practices Act request letter 
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 Post subject: Data Practices Act request letter
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 10:24 am
Posts: 6767
Location: Twin Cities
The following is a template for requesting public data from a law enforcement source.

Please note:
  • LOOKING IS ALWAYS FREE! They can't charge you to examine the data -- even if they have to print a copy for you to look at. They also can't stop you -- or charge you -- from dictating the whole thing into a tape recorder or taking a picture of it with your digital camera.
  • The police department or sheriff's office should receive the request for "...police reports, patrol logs, dispatch logs or other documentation...."
  • The radio/911 data may come from a separate agency: dispatch is sometimes handled by the police department, sometimers by the sheriff's office, sometimes by a separate county agency. You have to look this stuff up or call around to ensure you ask the right agency for the right data.
  • The request should be made in writing. The written request can be emailed, postal mailed (get a return receipt) or hand delivered (get a signature indicating receipt).
  • The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act can be found here: https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=13 You should take the time to read the pertinent sections and to print a copy to bring with you.
Quote:
Attention: Data Practices Compliance Officer

Please consider this email a formal request for release of public data, as follows:

1. Transcripts of any 911 calls received by your agency relating to [event] that occurred at or near [address] in [city], Minnesota at approximately [time] on [date].

2. Accurate and complete audio recordings of any and all radio traffic related to this incident.

3. Any and all police reports, patrol logs, dispatch logs or other documentation related to this event. To the extent that any portion of these records is nonpublic data, this request shall be read as a request for the public portion(s) of these records.

4. Further, please consider this email a formal demand for the indefinite retention of the requested data, pending resolution or reclassification of its status.

5. As required by section 13.03, subd. 3, paragraph f of Minnesota Statutes, I am requesting that in the event that any portion of this request is not granted, that your department "...certify in writing that the request has been denied and cite the specific statutory section, temporary classification, or specific provision of federal law upon which the denial was based."

6. Finally, I respectfully demand that you, as required by section 13.03, subd. 3, paragraph c of Minnesota Statutes, "...provide copies of public data upon request," and remind you that "...If the responsible authority or designee is not able to provide copies at the time a request is made, copies shall be supplied as soon as reasonably possible."

Sincerely,

[Your name]

_________________
* NRA, UT, MADFI certified Minnesota Permit to Carry instructor, and one of 66,513 law-abiding permit holders. Read my blog.


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