|Submitted||April 30, 2013|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
All incident reports and arrest records from Oct. 8, 1989 mentioning rape or sexual assault.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. 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.
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 5 business days, as the statute requires.
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VA Code § 2.2-3700 et seq.) does not require localities to respond to requests from non-Virginia residents or from media that does not have a circulation in or broadcast in or into Virginia.
Hi Mr. Thurston,
Thank you for your time speaking with Tom earlier on the phone. I am writing to clarify and narrow the request below and provide my license.
I would like to narrow the request to the following: "All arrest records and police reports mentioning Lloyd E. Irvin Jr. from Oct. 7 - 8, 1989."
My Virginia driver's license is attached. Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, this should be enough to continue processing this request. I am happy to provide further clarification or information if needed, but please cite the specific statutory language so I can ensure I can respond in a complete and timely manner to avoid further delay.
Dear Mr. Thurston,
Catherine MacDonald and my client, MuckRock, are requesting documents from the Newport News Police pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Ms. MacDonald and my client seek “all arrest records and police records mentioning Lloyd E. Irvin Jr. from Oct. 7-8, 1989.”
Virginia Code § 2.2-3704 states, “all public records shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizens of the Commonwealth.”
Under this law, the requested records must be released to Virginian citizen Catherine MacDonald. Ms. MacDonald utilized the services of my client, MuckRock, in order to request the aforementioned public records. VFOIA merely permits your agency to “require the requester to provide his [or her] name and legal address” and no more. Ms. MacDonald satisfied the provisions of VFOIA when she submitted her driver’s license containing her name and legal address to you on May 17, 2013.
Therefore, your agency is required by the law cited above to release them to Ms. MacDonald and MuckRock. By imposing any additional burdens upon Ms. MacDonald, such as requiring additional information, your agency will have violated VFOIA, which was enacted with the purpose of granting “ready access to public records” and which was to “be liberally construed to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities and afford every opportunity to citizens to witness the operations of government.” VA Code § 2.2-3700 (emphasis added). Moreover, the Supreme Court of Virginia held that the law be interpreted “ ‘in order that no thing which should be public may be hidden from any person.’” City of Danville v. Laird, 223 Va. 271, 276 (1982).
Kindly process the request for the public records specified above. Should you have any questions, please contact me at .
Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic
A no responsive documents response.
In response to your Freedom of Information request dated May 17, 2013, please be advised that the requested police reports either were never created or no longer exist.
We are withholding the requested arrest record in accordance with Virginia State Code 19.2-389, which restricts the release of criminal history record information to only those individuals and agencies listed in the code. As you are not one of those individuals or agencies listed, this request must be denied. However, you may be able to locate the information you are seeking through the courts.