Recorded Securus Phone Calls and/or Communications Records and Contracts and Supporting Documents - Riverside County

Robert Teel filed this request with the Sheriff's Department of Riverside County, CA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Robert Teel

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (California Government Code §§ 6250), I hereby request the following records:

Please provide:

(1) all (i) audio or visual records and recordings, or (ii) written transcriptions, notes, reports, spreadsheets, logs, or memoranda, or (iii) other information, about, in connection with, or of, any and all phone calls, emails, videos, or other communications made or received by detainees or inmates using any Securus phone or communication system, including without limitation the Securus Secure Call Platform or the AdvanceConnect Direct Bill, Traditional Collect, Inmate Debit, Jail Voicemail, Video Visitation, Securus Online, or Secure Instant Email, for any detention facilities operated by you, including without limitation the detention facilities set for below, and including without limitation records and recordings of:

(a) the content of the communication;
(b) the prisoners’ first and last names;
(c) the phone numbers they called or received calls from;
(d) the date, time, and duration of the calls;
(e) the inmates’ Securus account numbers;
(f) the metadata for the communication;
(g) the recording URL where the audio recordings of the calls can be downloaded; and
(h) any other information collected by Securus or you in connection with such calls; and

(2) all contracts, agreements, correspondence, documents, statements, writings and recordings of every kind (mechanical, electronic, typed or written) by and between the San Diego County Sherriff’s Department or any other law enforcement agency and Securus, including but not limited to, letters, correspondence, memoranda, notes, audio recordings, spreadsheets, reports, logs, and transcriptions in the possession of, or subject to the control of you or Securus.

List of Detention Facilities:

Riverside County – Blythe Jail
Riverside County – Indio Jail
Riverside County – Larry D. Smith Corrections
Riverside County – Regional Medical Center
Riverside County – Robert Presley Detention Center
Riverside County – Southwest Detention Center

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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Robert Teel

From: MIB

Mr. Teel,

Regarding the below listed CPRA request sent to us on April 6, we have no record of receipt. As of April 18, 2016 we have received your request and will work to provide a response to the same. Thank you for your inquiry.

Regards,

Media Information Bureau
Riverside County Sheriff's Department
4095 Lemon Street, 2nd Floor
Riverside Ca., 92501
951-222-7536 (pager)
Mib@riversidesheriff.org<mailto:Mib@riversidesheriff.org>

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[Description: tag]
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EMAIL CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This email message, including any attachments, is intended for the sole viewing and use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain confidential and privileged information, which is prohibited from disclosure. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, distribution, or the taking of any action in reliance on the information contained in this email, including attachments, is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination or copy of this message, or any attachment, is strictly prohibited. If you have received a copy of this email in error, please notify the sender by reply email immediately, and remove all copies of the original message, including attachments, from your computer.

From: Sheriff's Department

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

Mr. Teel,

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has received your CPRA dated April 18, 2016. The present scope of your requests do not provide a specific time period for the documents you requested and would be considered overly broad. To better serve your requests, can you please provide a time period (ie; start date to end date) for the requested materials?

Thank You,

Sergeant Sloniker

Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Robert Teel

Dear Sergeant Sloniker,

Thank you for your reply. Please provide the requested material for the last five years (July 2011 to the present).

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: Sheriff's Department

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Sheriff's Department

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Robert Teel

Dear Sergeant Sloniker,

I understood from our previous correspondence that my CPRA request would be fulfilled on or before May 14, 2016. Could you please provide me with a status update?

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

Good Morning Mr. Teel,

Your Response Letter was sent out certified mail on May 12, 2016. I have attached the two certified mail receipts (14-day Extension Letter and the Response Letter) showing they were delivered with a signature. Please advise if you would like me to re-send your Response Letter?

Sergeant Vanessa Sloniker
Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Robert Teel

HI Sergeant Sloniker,

I have two letters, the last being dated April 28, 2016 extending the response date until May 12, 2016. Could you please forward me the May 12, 2016 letter by response email?

Regards,
Robert Teel

From: Robert Teel

Dear Sergeant Sloniker,

I will review your letters and the law you cite therein and respond in more detail, but suffice it to say I find your denial of my request in toto to be without merit.

Is the Sheriff's office contending that its contract with Securus is exempt?

Is it contending that its correspondence and emails with Securus in connection with the operation of the telecommunications system is exempt?

Is it contending that sales material it has received from Securus is exempt?

Is it contending that invitations to attend parties and professional sports events or other trips to Securus are exempt?

Is the Sheriff contending that any correspondence between it and Securus regarding this request is exempt?

Is the Sheriff contending any correspondence regarding the data hack Securus experienced in November 2015 is exempt?

Is the Sheriff contending the call logs are exempt or incapable of being redacted to address any privacy concerns?

As to the public purpose, this is a matter that concerns whether Securus has illegally recorded conversations with detainees in violation of detainees' privacy rights, including without limitation potential violations of Article I of the California Constitution as well as the Fourth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. There is no higher legitimate public interest or concern.

Securus brags that it maintains its information at law enforcements' fingertips. Its hard to imagine given that representation that any possible burden outweighs the public's constitutional rights.

I have received thousands of page of emails, RFPs, contracts, call logs, and other materials from California and other state agencies in response to this exact request addressed to other agencies. I know what materials those responses are comprised off and they are neither exempt from production nor burdensome to produce.

In short, a blanket denial and refusal to provide a single document in response to my request violates the California Public Records Act. Please consider this as the undersigned request for reconsideration. Nothing set forth herein shall constitute a waiver of the undersigned legal rights or remedies. All such rights and remedies are hereby expressly reserved and may be pursued without further notice.

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: Robert Teel

Dear Sargent Sloniker and Sheriff Sniff,

Thank you for your response. Please consider this as the undersigned’s request for reconsideration of your denial, in toto, of my CPRA request, or in the alternative as grounds for any appeal should your remain unchanged.

Unfortunately, the nature of your reply, while copious, indicates a “kitchen sink” approach. Many of the code sections you cite are off the mark and call in to question the bona fides of the denial.

Government Code Sec. 6253.1 requires your office to assist in identifying records and information that are responsive to the request or to the purpose of
the request, if stated, and describe the information technology and physical location in which the records exist. Further, your office is required to provide suggestions for overcoming any practical basis for denying access to the records or information sought.

Government Code §6253(a) provides that any non-exempt part of a record must be made available after any exempt information has been redacted. To the extent any of the information requested is non-exempt, I request it be provided. If a record contains exempt information, the agency must segregate or redact the exempt information and disclose the remainder of the record.

With that in mind, please consider the following item by item reply to your objections.

1) Government Code 6254(b). You have not cited any pending litigation to which the requested materials pertain. Parroting the language of the code section is not sufficient. In order to assist in the identification of the record you are referring to, please provide the specific pending litigation to which you are referring in your denial.

2) Government Code 6254(c). None of the records are requesting personnel, medical, or similar files. Further, to the extent any requested material does contain such information, the agency must segregate or redact the exempt information and disclose the remainder of the record.

3) Government Code 6254(f). The request does not seek investigatory records. To the extent the request encompasses such records, the agency must segregate or redact the exempt information and disclose the remainder of the record. Further, you have not explained how any materials such as emails between your agency and Securus in connection with the administration of your contract or the telecommunications services (or the contract itself for that matter) provided by Securus are investigatory.

Your response relies on the fact that the goal for recording and monitoring detainee phone conversations is not only to enhance safety, but also to help prevent crimes both inside and outside a facility. A criminal investigation refers to the process of collecting information (or evidence) about a crime in order to: (A) determine if a crime has been committed; (B) identify the perpetrator; (C) apprehend the perpetrator; and (D) provide evidence to support a conviction in court. If the first three objectives are successfully attained, then the crime can be said to be solved.

Most of the recordings and items requested in subpart (1) of my request do not involve a crime of any kind. After such records are determined to be free of intelligence that would aide any institutional goal, including without limitation any criminal investigation, there cannot be any grounds for denial of production under Government Code Section 6254(f). In other words, once the recordings are determined not to be connected to any crime, they are not exempt.

4) Government Code Sec. 6254(k) and Article I, Sec. 1 of the California Constitution. None of the records requested are HIPPA, medical, attorney-client or attorney work product materials. To the extent they are, please identify any materials you claim are privileged under the Evidence Code, segregate or redact the exempt information, and disclose the remainder of the record.

5) Penal Code Sec. 1546.1 and Evidence Code Sec. 1040. PC 1546.1 proscribes certain unlawful conduct by government agencies. This is exactly what the CPRA is for. Under your logic, any information a public agency obtained unlawfully under PC 1546.1 is exempt from production which defeats the purpose of the CPRA to have access to how the government conducts its business. Again, in order to assist in the identification of the records you are referring to, please describe the materials to which you are referring in your denial and segregate or redact the exempt information and disclose the remainder of the record.

The requestor is not required to state the cause for its production. To the contrary, the agency bears the burden of establishing its entitlement to its claim of privilege D.I. Chadbourne, Inc. v. Superior Court (1964) 60 Cal.2d 723, 729, 36 Cal.Rptr. 468, 388 P.2d 700) by proving the preliminary facts to show that the privilege applies. Mahoney v. Superior Court (1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 937, 941,191 Cal.Rptr. 425.

The Sheriff’s office appears to be claiming an absolute privilege under Evidence Code section 1040, subdivision (b), which provides, in relevant part: "(b) A public entity has a privilege to refuse to disclose official information, and to prevent another from disclosing official information, if the privilege is claimed by a person authorized by the public entity to do so and: [¶] (1) Disclosure is forbidden by an act of the Congress of the United States or a statute of this state; or [¶] (2) Disclosure of the information is against the public interest because there is a necessity for preserving the confidentiality of the information that outweighs the necessity for disclosure in the interest of justice; ..."

Subdivision (a) of Evidence Code section 1040 defines "official information" within the meaning of the statute as "information acquired in confidence by a public employee in the course of his or her duty and not open, or officially disclosed, to the public prior to the time the claim of privilege is made."

Your agency must therefore establish the preliminary fact of "information acquired in confidence," a threshold burden for claiming a privilege under Evidence Code section 1040. (Marylander v. Superior Court (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1119, 1128, 97 Cal.Rptr.2d 439.) DMV. v. Superior Court (2002) 100 Cal.App.4th 363, 122 Cal.Rptr.2d 504. Again, to the extent such records may be subject to a claim of exemption, such as medical records orinvestigatory records, or other information which by its nature is confidential, please describe the materials to which you are referring in your denial and segregate or redact the exempt information and disclose the remainder of the record.

6) Government Code Sec. 6255. The information in these records concerns state and federal Constitutional rights of detainees, including without limitation the 4th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. To the extent indefinite records retention of personal or protected telephone recordings by a public correctional or law enforcement agency offends Constitutional rights of privacy after such records are determined to be free of intelligence that would aid the institutional goal (in this case safety and crime prevention), they are of great legitimate purpose to the public.

Securus’ database is capable of providing tables, similar to spreadsheets, containing the information I requested, including without limitation metadata and a “recording URL” where the audio recordings of the calls can be downloaded. Further, Securus’ website claims Securus acknowledges that this is data which it can make available at the fingertips of law enforcement and correctional authorities. Securus states that the data which is available and being sold to corrections and law enforcement authorities can be provided on demand.

Accordingly, I respectfully disagree with your opinion that production of the records is either burdensome or not of legitimate purpose to the public. There is no weighing necessary as the records are available “on demand” and at your agency’s “fingertips.”

Once again, pursuant to Government Code §6253(a), any non-exempt part of a record must be made available after any exempt information has been redacted. To the extent any of the information requested is non-exempt (such as the phone numbers called for personal or protected conversations determined to be free of investigative purposes), I request it be provided.

Your reliance on California First Amendment Coalition v. Superior Court is misplaced. As you know, that case specifically involved the narrow issue of the CPRA compelled the Governor to disclose the names and qualifications of applicants for a temporary appointment to a local Board of Supervisors. That issue is not at hand here.

Indeed, the California First Amendment Coalition case provides support for the proposition that the undersigned’s request is sufficiently specific and focused. It hardly requires searching for a “needle in a haystack.” To paraphrase the court in California First Amendment Coalition, there is no indication your office is perplexed.

In fact, your denial letter clearly indicates you well understand the specific information that is being requested. Yet, your denial letter you clearly states your intent to deny access to all records entirely. It does not appear that any clarification in response to your claim of confusion will affect that outcome.

However, in order to try to avoid needless resort to legal process, and without waiving any rights or remedies the undersigned has in connection with the foregoing and the request or an appeal of your denial, please provide for the last five years:

(a) a copy of the request for proposal and contract by and between the Sheriff’s office and Securus;

(b) all correspondence and emails and attachments exchanged by and between Securus and the Sheriff’s office;

(c) all call logs, including the Securus “Call Detail Excel Report,” or other spreadsheet for the database which the Securus system provides with a reference simply as to whether or not the calls have been recorded. In particular the Securus database contains the following columns:

Site PortLoc Ctry Wireless Dialed# Dest Zone Start Time End Time Dur.(s) Acct# PIN Prepaid First Name Last Name Call Type Call Status Term Cat. BlkReason Priv Wat'd Int'l 3Way VB Amount Taxes & Fees Promo Call Test Call Language Dtmf Detect Dtmf Digits Text2Connect RCF LIVECONNECT Tracking Number 1 Shared 1 Note 1

As a compromise (again without any waiver implied), and in order to address your specific objections without resort to legal process, I request that the spreadsheet database be redacted as to any objectionable information, and then be produced setting forth the dialed number, the destination zone, the start time, the end time, the duration, the call type, the term category, the amount, the taxes and fees, privilege status, Dtmf detect, Dtmf digits, and whether the call is liveconnect. In addition, I request a record simply indicating whether the call was recorded or not.

In order to meet your burden of proving the claim(s) of exemption please adequately describe individually the withheld records or information by stating the type of record withheld, date, number of pages and author/recipients, and explain which individual exemption applies to which individual record rather than generally asserting exemptions as to all withheld documents.

If your office has created a privilege log for its own use, that document is also considered a public record and I request you provide it. If you have not prepared such a log, please so state.

Finally, I wish to make you aware that I have reviewed thousands of pages of emails, Requests for Proposals, Contracts, spreadsheets, and other materials provided by other California agencies in connection with their dealings with Securus and in response to this exact request. It is neither huge, nor, burdensome, nor enormous, nor requires undue resources. To the contrary, the materials were in many cases provided timely and without cost because they were kept electronically. I expect no less from your agency.

Finally, please provide me with an estimate of any fees intended to be charged as it may be more cost effective to inspect the records in person prior to incurring any charges.

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: Sheriff's Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Robert Teel

Dear Sargent Sloniker,

The check will be on its way this week.

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: Robert Teel

Dear Sargent Sloniker,

I need to state the neither my forwarding a check for the materials you have agreed to provide, nor any thing set forth or not set forth herein, or in my prior correspondence, is a waiver of the undersigned rights or remedies in connection with the foregoing. All such rights and remedies are hereby expressly reserved.

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

The documents were sent out certified mail on July 6, 2016. USPS tracking # 7015 1520 0002 2650 6994

Sergeant Vanessa Sloniker
Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Robert Teel

Hi Vanessa,

I'm a little cofused. First, I haven't seen any documents. Second do I owe you a check for $33.25.

Thanks.

Robert Teel

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

Good Morning Mr. Teel,

I apologize for the confusion, the certified letter for the billing was sent out on July 6, 2016. Once I receive payment I will send out the documents.

Sergeant Vanessa Sloniker
Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Robert Teel

Hi Vanessa,

The check will go out forthwith. Will you please notify me when you receive it? Thanks.

Sincerely,
Robert Teel

From: MuckRock.com


To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $33.25 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

Mr. Teel,
I will notify you when I receive your check

Sergeant Vanessa Sloniker
Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

Mr. Teel

I received your check today (8/9/16) can you please confirm the address of where you would like the documents sent ?

Thank you

Sergeant Vanessa Sloniker
Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Sloniker, Vanessa

Mr. Teel,

As indicated in my email yesterday (8/9/16) your check was received. I have not received a response for where you would like the documents sent, so too avoid any further delay I am going to send the documents certified mail to the address that I have on file (the same address that previous correspondence has been sent).

Robert Teel
c/o MuckRock
DEPT MR 24874
411 A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 021442516

Thank You,

Sergeant Vanessa Sloniker
Professional Standards Bureau
4095 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 955-2378
Mail stop #1450

From: Sheriff's Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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