|Submitted||July 4, 2018|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the South Dakota Open Records Law, I hereby request the following records:
For all accounts managed by your department, please provide me the following information for all emails sent during January, 2017:
1. From address
2. To address
3. bcc addresses
4. cc addresses
Please note that I am not requesting the contents of each email.
I am more than happy to provide documentation or tips for extracting this information from your mail server if needed. Documentation that I have available include methods using excel, powershell, msaccess, Office 365 eDiscovery tools, and the direct extraction from an exchange database using forensic analysis tools.
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 business days, as the statute requires.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following South Dakota Open Records Law request, copied below, and originally submitted on July 4, 2018. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
Mr. Matt Chapman,
The City of Sioux Falls received a public records request from you on July 13, 2018.
The City also received an email from you on July 18, 2018 indicating that you had made a request on July 4, 2018. The City did not receive your request on July 4.
Regardless of date, the City has reviewed your request(s) and it appears they are the same.
You have asked for the "from address," the "to address," the "bcc address," the "cc address," the time, and the date of all City emails during the month of January 2017.
The City is denying your requests for the following reasons.
First, City employee correspondence (including email correspondence) is exempt from disclosure under South Dakota law (SDCL 1-27-1.5 (12) and many emails also contain privileged information, law enforcement investigatory information, security information and other information which is also exempt under SDCL 1-27-1.5, SDCL 1-27-1.6, or other laws. The correspondence exemption includes not only the messages, but also the addresses, time, and date of such correspondence. South Dakota law (SDCL 1-27-1.10) provides that the government entity involved may redact information from otherwise exempt documents in order to provide them to the public, but is not obligated to do so. When records are exempt, the agency is not required by law to examine the material and fashion an alternative method to release some of the material to satisfy public records requests. Instead, the City may simply reject the public records request. Mercer v. South Dakota Attorney General Office, 864 N.W.2d 299, 305 (SD 2015). The South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners has specifically applied this analysis to municipal records. Trout v. City of Sioux Falls (PRR 16-02) (attached). As noted in the Trout decision, the City of Sioux Falls is sometimes willing to supply redacted records in response to isolated requests, but is not required to do so. Given the volume involved your request is burdensome and the City will not voluntarily dedicate the staff time to undertake such redactions when it is not obligated to do so by the public records law.
Second, you have asked the City to mine selected data from existing records and prepare a new document containing such selected material. The South Dakota Public records law is designed to provide access to existing records, but does not require records to be provided to the public in any format or media other than that in which it is stored. SDCL 1-27-4 applies. Nothing in the public records law requires government entities to create new documents to satisfy public records requests. In addition, your request is unduly burdensome on the staff/resources of the City's information technology team and it would disrupt the ongoing day to day business to fulfill your request.
Your request is denied in its entirety for the foregoing reasons.
Information Technology Manager
Central Services Department
City of Sioux Falls
1st Floor, 132 N. Dakota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104