|Submitted||Jan. 6, 2018|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to North Dakota Constitution, Article XI, Section 6, and the North Dakota Open Records Statute, N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18(1), I hereby request the following records:
Copies of all available emails, documents and email attachments exchanged between officials at the North Dakota Attorney General's Office and individuals affiliated with the Rule of Law Defense Fund and the Republican Attorneys General Association, between June 1, 2017 and January 5, 2018.
Please understand “officials” to include individuals holding the following titles: Attorney General; Chief Deputy Attorney General; and Assistant Attorney General;
For email addresses affiliated with the Rule of Law Defense Fund, please use email addresses that contain the domain: “@ruleoflawdefensefund.org.” For email addresses affiliated with the Republican Attorneys General Association, please use email addresses that contain the domain: “@RepublicanAGs.com.”
Please note that we are specifically requesting copies of any files or sign-on letters referenced in these emails that were uploaded to the RLDF "briefing room" at the website: "https://rldf.box.com." Sending a file through a unique link is analogous to sending a file via an email attachment, so these files should be considered public records.
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 would request your response within ten (10) business days.
c: (954) 410-4522
Attached is the response of this agency to your request for records.
Public Information Officer
ND OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General
600 E. Boulevard Avenue | Dept. 125 | Bismarck, ND 58505
We are not requesting that the agency "convert its records to another format, create or compile records that do not exist, or obtain records originating from another public entity that it does not have in its possession. A public entity has no obligation to respond to requests for information, to respond to questions about its duties, functions or operations, or to explain the content of its records."
We simply requested copies of records that officials in your office have in their possession. It's our understanding that Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Chief Deputy Troy Seibel both attended the Republican Attorneys General Association's fall meeting in November 2017. Given that RAGA arranges and pays for travel and hotel costs for attorneys general and their staff to attend their meetings, it's highly implausible that officials in your office have had zero correspondence whatsoever with RAGA in the timeframe we specified.
We also understand that RAGA shares policy materials with Republican attorneys general by email and through a private, dedicated box.com website. We have seen numerous examples of RAGA staff sharing those materials through individualized links with attorneys general and their staffers. We did not request that you go through that website and pull every file for us; we requested you send us the files that are referenced in emails in the possession of officials at your office. Given your staff owns the right to access these files, the public has a right to see them.
We would like to speak with you about this request as soon as possible. I can be reached on my cell at (954) 410-4522. Thank you.
A public entity is only required to provide records that exist. I conducted the required search and inquiry before preparing my response. There are no records. Liz
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Please excuse any typos.