Long Beach Police Department (CA) Civil Asset Forfeiture Records

Greg Buhl filed this request with the Long Beach Police Department of Long Beach, CA.
Tracking #

P006649-052321

Due Aug. 2, 2023
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Greg Buhl

To LBPD,

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act I am requesting the following records:

-Any accounting records or statistics on seized real estate, vehicles, firearms, funds in bank accounts and seizures made by the LBPD, as well as seizures made by federal authorities where the LBPD receives a share under the MOUs the department have in place with numerous agencies describing how assets are to be divided.

-Any annual reports produced on the LBPD civil asset forfeiture program.

-Documents showing the balance of any funds currently in the LBPD Civil Asset Forfeiture fund.

-A list of all items seized through civil asset forfeiture and retained for use by the LBPD.

-Please also include any information relating to contested seizures. This request does not include court documents for individual forfeiture cases.

The time period for this request is for the last 10 years.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter in the time frame set out in the CPRA.

Greg Buhl
Lead Researcher at CheckLBPD.org

From: Long Beach Police Department

Dear Greg Buhl:
Pursuant to California Government Code § 6253, staff will review your request and respond within 10 days to notify you if there are responsive records, or if an extension is necessary to determine if responsive records exist.

If your request was received after business hours or on a weekend or holiday, the next business day will be considered the date of receipt. The 10-day response period starts with the first calendar day after the date of receipt (Ca. Civ. Code, § 10.). You may be contacted by a staff member if there are questions regarding your request. NOTICE: Public records requests and transparency remain of utmost importance, and we are continuing to respond to requests under California Government Code guidelines.  However, you may experience delays in response times as we are focusing on handling high priority issues related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Pursuant to Government Code section 6253(c) there may be delays due to unusual circumstances.
Thank you for your interest in public records of the Long Beach Police Department. Your request has been received and will be processed in the order it was received. Your request was received in this office on 5/23/2021 and given the reference number P006649-052321 for tracking purposes.

Records Requested: "To LBPD,

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act I am requesting the following records:

-Any accounting records or statistics on seized real estate, vehicles, firearms, funds in bank accounts and seizures made by the LBPD, as well as seizures made by federal authorities where the LBPD receives a share under the MOUs the department have in place with numerous agencies describing how assets are to be divided.

-Any annual reports produced on the LBPD civil asset forfeiture program.

-Documents showing the balance of any funds currently in the LBPD Civil Asset Forfeiture fund.

-A list of all items seized through civil asset forfeiture and retained for use by the LBPD.

-Please also include any information relating to contested seizures. This request does not include court documents for individual forfeiture cases.

The time period for this request is for the last 10 years.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter in the time frame set out in the CPRA.

Greg Buhl
Lead Researcher at CheckLBPD.org

Upload documents directly: https://https://www.muckrock.comhttps://www.muckrock.com/

You can monitor the progress of your request at the link below and you'll receive an email when your request has been completed. Again, thank you for using the Long Beach Police Department Request Center.

From: Long Beach Police Department

--- Please respond above this line ---

Dear Greg Buhl, Thank you for your patience.  After reviewing your request, the Finance Department has have determined that additional or more detailed information is needed to
appropriately search for records.
Specifically, please clarify the meaning of “ Any accounting records or statistics on seized real estate, vehicles, firearms, funds…”
While the California Public Records Act (PRA) provides members of the public with
access to public records, it is not unlimited in its scope.  California courts have
acknowledged that members of the public may request documents from municipalities
pursuant to the PRA, even if they are unable to precisely identify the documents sought.
However, the request must still reasonably describe the information contained in the
records sought such that the municipality can locate the records with “reasonable effort”
[Cal. First Amend. Coalition v. Superior Court (1998) 67 Cal. App. 4th 159].
The request must be focused and specific [Rogers v. Superior Court (1993) 19 Cal.
App. 4th 469] and clear enough so that the agency can decipher what record or records
are being sought.  Moreover, the City is not required by law to create a record or list if
one does not already exist at the time the request is submitted. The City will wait for your response before proceeding with this request.  If we do
not hear back from you within 10 calendar days, your request will be closed. Thank you.

From: Greg Buhl

I asked the LBPD for :
-Any accounting records or statistics on seized real estate, vehicles, firearms, funds in bank accounts and seizures made by the LBPD, as well as seizures made by federal authorities where the LBPD receives a share under the MOUs the department have in place with numerous agencies describing how assets are to be divided.

-Any annual reports produced on the LBPD civil asset forfeiture program.

-Documents showing the balance of any funds currently in the LBPD Civil Asset Forfeiture fund.

-A list of all items seized through civil asset forfeiture and retained for use by the LBPD.

-Please also include any information relating to contested seizures. This request does not include court documents for individual forfeiture cases.

Either the Department maintains such records on the property it seizes from people or they do not. I did not ask for a list to be made as I know the LBPD already maintains a list of some sort from their public comments to the media. Additionally, it would be near criminal and a due process of violation if the LBPD did not keep proper accounting of property they took from people under the color of law for their own use.

Are you saying the LBPD does not maintain any cumulative records of property seized under civil asset forfeiture laws?

I find that very hard to believe given LBPD Manual section 8.5.5 INTERAGENCY ASSET SEIZURE and comments the LBPD has made to the media regarding varying levels of civil asset forfeiture amounts over the year. (https://www.ocregister.com/2019/04/21/police-agencies-forfeit-millions-after-new-law-chokes-off-funds-from-asset-seizures/)

It's obvious the department does track the information. I want the LBPD's internal numbers however they are maintained.

Additionally, it seems in bad faith that it took over a year for you to ask for more information when there is a 10 day time limit to actually complete PRA requests.

-Greg Buhl

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