Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Our law and a simple public records request

MY son was attending a basketball game at Middleton High school, you know the new prison with an unlimited budget and surveillance cameras to catch criminals?
As it turns out, my son was one of the last leaving the school, when reaching his car, he finds, the door had been smashed in with no note and no word about who did it, so much for teaching responsibility in that place! Anyway, the police report was taken and I had requested the video be preserved for the case should I decide to pursue one.

What I did find out about a case like this is that although no one wants to take responsibility for the accident, AND THAT THE TAX DOLLARS FOR THE SURVIELLANCE CAMERAS DO NOT COVER THE ENTIRE PARKING LOT, the school has an insurance policy but guards it with their life, like a sacred cow. When asking their insurance company why I couldn’t file a claim on their insurance rather than mine, their only answer was that no one had ever done it before! The records request was written to send to the insurance company.

The below post, is a public records request to the county for information regarding the accident. In this request, the lady I spoke with stated that I needed to submit my drivers license and somehow I felt something was wrong with this, so I looked into it. I felt, with what I just found out, being a bit agitated by this, since I was filing a public records request I would ask some information on how our government creates power and immunity over its people within itself and its political subdivisions without legislative authority.

Remember, I am not a a legal scholar, just a guy that has an inquiring mind and is tired of being forced to submit, jumping thorough endless hoops to fight for my rights, when governments were instituted to fight for them for me rather than create strife which they are increasingly good at!

Im mad as hell and will question everything. When I receive an answer, I will post it, you know I will!

NAME: Tom Munds
Phone #
Report #
Date of incident: 12/4/2012

To whom it may concern,

As I am the parent and responsible party for my son, I am requesting any and all information regarding the police report taken on the above date to be mailed to my address or to be notified as to when I may pick up this requested information. If you need further information, Please let me know.

To my knowledge, for this request to be satisfied, I was told that there is an administrative policy that requires me to submit my license number with this request, even as I was not a party to the action, so in addition to the requested report, I am also requesting the following:

Where administrative policy has full force and effect of law and somehow applies to the people and not the agency for which it was written.
Why my license number is necessary in requesting a public records search, when according to the Idaho statutes no name needs to be given except for the purposes of mailing or contacting the requestor when information is ready or to be mailed.( Idaho code 9-337(5))
Why this request would need to go through an attorney before submitting it to the party requesting the information, unless there was public information that the requesting party is somehow not privy to.
Please also state the legislative enactment where the government has granted itself constitutional immunity from having to follow the same ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES, it enforces upon its people when administrative procedures apply to the administrative agency of which is was created and when in fact, properly applied was never meant to apply to the people as law?
And how is this request, and its immunities granted to government consistent with the power inherent in the people rather than the government?
in addition, please provide information stating that we, according to your written policy below, are “Citizens of a democratic society” and that we are, in fact, Citizens.

In my passion for law, and in the interest of public trust, the answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated. With all due respect in advance, the above questions are not seeking “legal advice” they are asking for the policies and procedures and/or statutes that apply to this request.

Below, You will find the policy for the public records request of where my information was obtained.

By the way, “Please also include in my request, the information stating that we, according to your written policy below, are “Citizens of a democratic society” and that we are, in fact, Citizens.

America, as our founders stated, was never intended to be a democracy, but founded as a “CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC,” not by rule by the majority but by the written law, our constitution!

Have your attorney look into this and tell me who knows the law!!!

To clarify, in closing, This is my formal request for the information and to provide answers to the questions included herein.

Thank you for your time,

Tom Munds

Public Records Request Policy

I. Introduction
All citizens in a democratic society are entitled to openness in government. Idaho's Open Meeting and Public Records laws, ensure that state and local government business is conducted in the open, that citizens have access to public documents, and at the same time the privacy of citizens is protected.

Idaho Code § § 9-337 through 349 contains provisions of the Idaho Public Records Act. I.C. § 9-339 requires that public records requests be granted or denied " within three (3) working days of the date of receipt of the request for examination or copying." If necessary, the public agency may take up to ten (10) working days to provide the information. The research analyst should be notified of such determination immediately so proper notice may be provided. It is policy that as a public service agency every effort will be made by the State Controller's Office to fully comply with the Public Records Act by responding in a timely, accurate and courteous manner.

II. Denial of Request
A public record request may be denied in whole or in part only by the legal administrator of the agency or his/her designee and only after legal consultation (i.e. Office of Attorney General). Such determination must be provided in writing to the requester stating the statutory authority for denial, stipulating clearly the right to appeal and the time for doing so.

III. Procedures
(In order to ensure full compliance with the law, policies and procedures must be in effect and are discussed here.)
The Act does not require the requester to reveal their name, the purpose of the request or complete a written request except to verify the identity of the requester in accordance with I. C. § 9-342 to ensure the record or information will not be used for a mailing or telephone list prohibited by law (I.C. § 9-348). However, by completing the Public Record Request Form details such as date and time received are documented in the event questions arise later. Furthermore, a copy of any records, materials, reports, correspondence, etc., transmitted to the requester should be attached to the form. If the material is too bulky or copying is not practical, a copy of the first page and/or a list of the enclosed materials and their source(s) should be attached to the form. The completed form and all accompanying materials shall be filed with the research analyst.
Inter-Agency Requests. Any state agency requesting routine information about itself or another state agency may be handled by appropriate division staff without following the procedure outlined above.
Private Sector Business and Quasi-Official Agencies and Organizations Requests. Any routine requests received from banks, credit unions, insurance companies, etc., may be handled and recorded as outlined (Reference A above) .
Legislative, General Public, Media Requests. Any requests received from legislators, elected officials, legislative staff, congressional delegates, private individuals, newspapers, etc., shall be referred directly to the research analyst. If the research analyst is not immediately available, inform the requester of the research analyst's name and extension number (Research Analyst, ext. 8702).

NOTE: Requests may be received by mail, telephone, fax or in person. If the research analyst is away from the office for an extended length of time, (vacation, sick) and unable to respond in a timely fashion, please refer the requester to the appropriate division administrator for assistance. It is the responsibility of the staff person forwarding the request to record the date and time received and then follow up to make certain the research analyst or division administrator is aware of the request.

In most cases, the research analyst will refer requests to the appropriate division administrator or designated staff person for assistance. It is the responsibility of the research analyst to deliver the final product, log and maintain the records of the request.

IV. Compiling Information
It is the responsibility of the division administrator (or designee) to research and compile the necessary records, reports or data. It is extremely important that these requests be given priority so we can comply within the statutory three days requirement. If this cannot be accomplished, notify the research analyst immediately with an explanation of the reasons the records cannot be provided within that time limit. It will be the responsibility of the research analyst to notify the requester, in writing, of the delay.

NOTE: If additional time is needed, the law allows up to ten (10) working days following the date of the request.

V. Confidential and Exempt Records
Certain information contained in reports generated by this office must remain confidential (i.e. vendor identification numbers, social security numbers, etc.). Make certain all confidential information is deleted, redacted, blocked out or otherwise not visible before releasing to the public. Refer to I.C. § 9-340 for the list of records that are exempt from disclosure.

VI. Fees and Charges
It is legislative intent of the Act that examining and copying public records is part of the public business, already funded by taxpayers. Therefore, § 9-338(8) provides that the fee charged for copying " ...may not exceed the actual cost to the agency of copying the record...The actual cost shall not include any administrative or labor costs resulting from locating and providing a copy of the public record."

A fee for actual labor costs associated with locating and copying documents may be established and/or charged if (1) the document exceeds 100 pages or (2) non-public information must be deleted or (3) actual labor to locate and copy the record exceeds two (2) hours. EXCEPTIONS: The public agency may not charge any cost or fee if the requester demonstrates an inability to pay or the public's interest or understanding of operations of government would suffer by any assessment or collection of a fee. [I.C. § 9-338(8)(c)].

Necessary costs will be applied in compliance with the guidelines set forth in the Act. If a copying fee is to be charged, the following policies will apply:
There shall be no charge for copying records less than 100 pages. A per page cost of five cents ($.05) will be charged for copied documents exceeding 100 pages.
There shall be no charge for computer generated records less than 250 pages. A per page cost of two cents ($.02) will be charged for computer generated reports exceeding 250 pages.
Postage costs shall be charged, if mailed.
Payment is expected prior to releasing the public record. Payment shall be by cash or check only.

VII. AD-HOC/On-Demand Reports
Pursuant to attorney general opinion, June 1993, " ...when a member of the public requests public records in a form that does not yet exist and that may require computer programming to create, the agency may charge for the costs of the computer programming..."
The division administrator must make the determination whether the report requested requires computer programming and/or manipulation of data, necessitating certain computer costs to create. Such costs may be charged to the requester.
When it is determined that an ad-hoc/on-demand report is necessary, the request should be submitted in writing to the division administrator. The division administrator will notify the research analyst immediately with an estimate of the cost. The research analyst will inform the requester who must make the decision to continue or discontinue the report processing.
2. Postage costs shall be charged, if mailed.
3. Payment is expected prior to releasing the ad-hoc/on-demand report. Payment shall be by cash or check only.

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