Complaints/grievances re: CCA's GA Coffee/Jenkins Correctional Centers (GA AG)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Office of the Attorney General - Georgia of Georgia.
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

All complaints/grievances/lawsuits/related materials regarding the following facilities:

• Coffee Correctional Facility
• Jenkins Correctional Center
• Wheeler Correctional Facility

According to the Georgia DOC, all lawsuits and such are forwarded to the Georgia Department of Law to handle.

This request is being made as part of a journalistic investigation. The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl C.D. Lipton

From: Daryl Robinson

Ms. Lipton:

Your request for records, which you sent to the "agolens" email address, has been forwarded to me. I have asked for a quick review of what sorts of records we can identify that might fit your request, and I think it will be helpful to us - and perhaps necessary - for you to refine your records request. Most helpful would be to let me know exactly what you are looking for. Your description of "[a]ll complaints/grievances/lawsuits/related materials regarding [three named correctional facilities" is probably bringing up far more records than you are seeking. For instance, an initial search using the three institutions as subject identifiers - which is all we have to go on right now - brings up over 1,000 habeas corpus cases, open and closed. I don't know that you are interested in habeas petitions.

"Grievances" generally refers to inmate-filed petitions lodged with the institution. Of course, we would not ordinarily have those in our records; those would be Department of Corrections records.

"Complaints" may encompass both grievances and lawsuits, and perhaps other things as well.

You are correct that lawsuits are sent by DOC to our office for representation; however, unless the lawsuit names one of the three institutions you have identified so that it is entered into our database, a search is unlikely to identify it. For example, if a lawsuit is styled Smith (inmate) v. Jones (warden), even though it arises at one of the institutions you have included our search won't identify it as such.

With this background, would you be able to narrow your request to help us more efficiently locate what you are looking for? Otherwise, I fear the search and retrieval will be more time-consuming and costly than you would like to bear. More specific is better, and particular inmate names better still. Are you looking for civil lawsuits as opposed to habeas corpus case challenging convictions? Can you narrow your time frame? Open cases? Cases filed within the past two years?

Also, keep in mind that these records are not in electronic format; anything that we find meeting your request will have to be copied for you. Our charges for open records requests are governed by O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71. I mention this because our initial quick search brings up 1,000 habeas cases, which will range from a few pages to several boxes full, and the cost of producing them is likely extremely high.

Daryl A. Robinson
Counsel to the Attorney General
132 Judicial Building
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1300
(404) 651-6194

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