Morgan County MO’s ICE e-mails for 2018

Matthew Hoppock filed this request with the Morgan County Sheriff's Office of Missouri.
Est. Completion None
Status
In Litigation

Communications

From: Matthew Hoppock


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the The Missouri Sunshine Law, I hereby request the following records:

Email messages from any ICE employee to any Morgan County Sheriff’s Department employee in 2018.

You can fulfill this request by searching the primary contacts who have interacted with ICE regarding immigration detainees at the Morgan County Jail. Searching for “@ice.dhs.gov” between 1/1/18 and 12/31/18 should provide all responsive documents.

I am a member of the news media and request a waiver of all search and production fees. I am writing a news article on the relationship between Morgan County and ICE.

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 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 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matthew Hoppock

From:

Matthew Hoppock,

Sir,

This email serves as an acknowledgement of your Sunshine Law Request For Records. I will be checking for the requested information to determine what can be released; however, pursuant to RSMo 610.026.2, Morgan County will require fees prior to producing the documents.

Per our county policy, we will not waive any fees. Please contact me via email if you want to us to proceed with your request. If so, I will provide you with an estimated dollar amount of cost for the requested documents, regardless of method of delivery.

Respectfully,
Captain JD Williams
--
JD Williams
jwilliams@morgan-county.org

From:

Sir,

I wanted to confirm my email response to you last week regarding your Sunshine request. I did not receive a reply. Furthermore, after speaking with our county counselor, he suggested that I reach out to the ICE legal department to determine if these emails can be released under the federal guidelines of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). He was not certain which regulation was controlling and asked that I follow up on that issue. We do not want to delay your request but want to make sure we do not violate any ICE regulations or the rights of the aliens housed at our facility.

I did take a preliminary look at one email for a jail staff member. That search alone resulted in hundreds of emails. We have 62 current Morgan County Sheriff's Office employees and had approximately the same number in 2018. Each has a Morgan County email. In addition, we will have to have to access previous employees emails from the year 2018 and search those emails as well. The emails from current employees will have to be accessed by contacting the individual employee and asking them to personally come to work, log in to their email and then perform the search. It is my estimate that a search as you requested will take approximately 40 hours to search and convert to a digital format that can be mailed to you. Per Morgan County resolution 050918, the average clerical hourly rate is: $13.55 per hour. As such, and assuming we can legally disclose these items under FOIA, I anticipate the cost will be: $542.00.

I’m happy to discuss this with you further and perhaps you could narrow down your search to a certain topic contained in the emails requested.

Regardless, we are working to get an answer to the FOIA issue and will let you know their response as quickly as possible. If there are no restrictions we will let you know and begin the collection as soon as we receive your payment. I will state that your request could include nonjudicial medical treatment records which are closed records according to RSMo 610.021 and will be excluded.

Sincerely,

Captain JD Williams,
Morgan County Sheriff's Office
573-378-5481 ext. 1292
--

JD Williams
jwilliams@morgan-county.org

From:

Mr. Hoppock,

I can begin fulfilling your Sunshine Law Request upon receipt of payment in the amount of $542.00. This payment amount is an estimate based on 40 hours of labor to complete the request as referenced in a previous email. Should the labor take longer an additional payment would have to be made. The check should be made out to MORGAN COUNTY and addressed to:

Morgan County Sheriff's Office
211 East Newton Street
Versailles, MO 65084

Attention: Captain Williams

If you have any questions regarding this you can reach me at the Morgan County Sheriff's Office or by email.

Respectfully,

Captain JD Williams,
Morgan County Sheriff's Office
573-378-5481 ext. 1292
--
JD Williams
jwilliams@morgan-county.org

From: Matthew Hoppock


To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $542.00 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Morgan County Sheriff's Office

To Whom It May Concern,

This is to confirm receipt of your check in the amount of $542.00 for the costs of locating any emails to/from the Morgan County Sheriff's Office with ICE for the year of 2018. I will begin compiling the emails immediately. I anticipate this process to take approximately 15 days. However, after compiling the emails from the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, those documents will be sent to the legal counsel of ICE for their FOIA review before they are sent to you. I will update you on our progress as warranted.

Captain J.D. Williams,
Morgan County Sheriff's Office

From: Matthew Hoppock

Captain Williams,

Thank you for this message. I am not aware of any authority under Missouri law to refer the responsive records to ICE FOIA to review before producing them (which given their current processing times would likely take at least a year or more). The only exemptions permitted under Missouri law that would permit nondisclosure are found at RSMO 610.021 (http://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=610.021&bid=35632&hl=). The exemptions under federal law that govern the FOIA (which ICE would be reviewing) are not applicable to state records.

If you do end up referring the responsive records to ICE, please let me know when you have, so that I can be aware of when they might be produced to us. Thank you.

From: Morgan County Sheriff's Office

--
JD Williams
jwilliams@morgan-county.org

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