ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 1999-01 > 102623
From: Richard Leiby <>
Subject: Re: FOIA & police records.
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 13:14:02 -0600
As Gary e-mailed me (see below), I "neglected" (read: forgot and went
out to lunch!!) to state that when it has to do with law enforcement records
that a lot of records are "purged" or destroyed after a period of time set by
law. That means that if your ancestor did not commit a very "major" crime,
the "custodian of records" may no longer have them due to the legal
destruction of them after the period of time set by law!! Some
"jurisdictions" may have the "room" to keep records and therefore do not
destroy, but I imagine quite a few do!! Some may even have microfilmed
records before destroying the originals, so it is important that when you
"request to view and copy records" that you use the term, "any and all
originals or copies of any kind pertaining to", so as to cover all
possibilities. I would also like to point out that if you try to use this
pertaining to a crime "just recently committed", you will not be successful
as long as the crime "is under investigation", unless of course YOU are the
suspect and then you'd better use the civil/criminal form of "discovery"
My main "thought" was to "normal" genealogical records of birth,
marriage, death, etc. in the hands of either a government agency or a
"business" that specializes in being a "custodian of records" for
governmental agencies, where the "actual" records are held. Now if
"ancestry.com" or "Broderbund" have "copied" the records themselves and they
do not hold the "originals" and are not an "official custodian of records",
then you can not "make a request or demand" for the records under the
Freedom Of Information Act, from them!!
I hope that I have "clarified" any questions that may have come to
anyones mind, due to my "incomplete" first post!!!!! I have spent a lot of
time and thought over the years on these "laws" and I apologize if I have
made it seem "complex"!! It is not, but you must read and spend some time
thinking the various parts of these laws over so as to fully "comprehend"
them and "implement" them!! The "law" is an "exacting" profession!!!!! As
and electrician for many many years, I have had to understand the National
Electrical Code which is every bit as hard, and according to Paul Harvey
years ago, is the only that is as "convoluted" as the "law" is!!
If anyone has any questions, email me!!
On 1999-01-16 said:
ga>As a police officer, I believe your message on ROOTS-WEB was well
ga>put. But, (isn't there always) you might have mentioned that most
ga>records are purged after ten years unless the crime was Homicide,
ga>Kidnapping, or Rape. (I think thats the entire list.)
ga>Many agencies do not have the resources (yet) to put the records on
ga>disk or CD ROM, so they archive the records for ten years as
ga>provided by law, then destroy them.
Richard B. (Bruce) Leiby
The Price Of Freedom Is Written On The Wall!!!!!
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