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Thursday, July 20, 2023

PAC Upholds Denial of Police Reports Involving Both Juvenile and Adult Arrests

The PAC issued its tenth binding opinion for 2023 finding a public body did not violate FOIA in withholding arrest report in its entirety that involved a minor arrestee even though the report also included information about an adult arrestee. PAC Op. 23-010

The public body had denied a FOIA request filed by a reporter for certain police records and withhold the reports in their entirety, citing the Juvenile Court Record Act which protects the confidentiality of minors who have been arrested. The requester filed a request for review with the PAC, arguing that the police report should have been released with redactions since the report also involved an adult arrestee who was not protected under the JCRA. 

The PAC reviewed the JCRA and found that it protected the police reports from release because they constituted "juvenile law enforcement records" under the JCRA since they concerned the investigation of multiple minors and charges against one of the minors. The PAC stated that the JCRA "does not permit disclosure of any portion of the report to an unauthorized party, regardless of the extent to which a portion of the report focuses on an adult arrestee." The PAC also noted that the public body had released other information about the adult arrestee, including the arrest information sheet, arrest card, and mugshot report. 


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