Missing Native Americans

Sovereign Bodies Institute filed this request with the Massachusetts State Police of Massachusetts .
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Sovereign Bodies Institute


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

Basic information on all cases (open and closed) of missing American Indian/Alaska Native persons (including juveniles) within Massachusetts, from 2000 through 2020; this basic information can include but is not limited to: person name, age, DOB, incident date, case closure date, county/jurisdiction in which person was reported missing"

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, 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 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Sovereign Bodies Institute

From: Massachusetts State Police

Requestor, Sovereign Bodies Institute:

The Massachusetts Department of State Police ("the Department") is in receipt of your November 20, 2020 request seeking: "Basic information on all cases (open and closed) of missing American Indian/Alaska Native persons (including juveniles) within Massachusetts, from 2000 through 2020; this basic information can include but is not limited to: person name, age, DOB, incident date, case closure date, county/jurisdiction in which person was reported missing." The Department considers your request as a submission pursuant to M.G.L. c. 66, §10, the Massachusetts Public Records Law.

Please be advised that the Department does not specifically maintain a database on missing persons. Generating documents containing this information would require the Department to create a new record it does not currently possess. Under the Massachusetts Public Records Law, "[t]he records access officer shall not be required to create a new public record in order to comply with a request, provided that furnishing a segregable portion of a public record shall not be deemed to be creation of a new record." M.G. L. c. 66, § 6A. According to the Division of Public Records for the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office, the "mandatory disclosure provision of the Public Records Law only applies to information that is in the custody of the governmental entity at the time the request is received. Consequently, there is no obligation to create a record for a requester or to honor prospective requests." A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law", January 2017. Moreover, "[n]either c. 66, § 10(a), nor its definitional counterpart c. 4, § 7, cls. 26, contains any express requirement that agencies assemble or compile in one document all information in their possession which qualifies as a public record." 1976-77 Mass. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 32 (May 18, 1977). Therefore, the public records law does not require the Department to prepare documents that satisfy the criteria of your request.

Upon information and belief, the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) maintains a current list. You may direct your request to that agency.

If you wish to challenge any aspect of this response, you may appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records following the procedure set forth in 950 C.M.R. 32.08, a copy of which is available at http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-source/cmr/. You may also file a civil action in accordance with M.G.L. c. 66, § 10A.

Christine M. Dowling
Staff Counsel
Office of Chief Legal Counsel
Massachusetts State Police
470 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01702
Tel: (508) 820-2324
Christine.M.Dowling@pol.state.ma.us<mailto:Christine.M.Dowling@pol.state.ma.us>

[cid:image002.png@01D638E7.8E019EC0]

The preceding email message (including any attachments) contains information that may be confidential, may be protected by the attorney-client or other applicable privileges, or may constitute non-public information. It is intended to be conveyed only to the designated recipient(s) named above. If you are not an intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender by replying to this message and then delete all copies of it from your computer system. Any use, dissemination, distribution, or reproduction of this message by unintended recipients is not authorized and may be unlawful.

Files