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16. Arrest/search warrants and supporting affidavits


  • Georgia

    The Act has no special exception for arrest/search warrants and supporting affidavits.

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  • Kansas

    Such documents are not available under the Kansas Open Records Act, but may be requested and disclosed at the court’s discretion pursuant to K.S.A. 22-2302(c) and K.S.A. 22-2502(e).  When a request for a probable cause affidavit in support of a search or arrest warrant is submitted by a member of the public or media, the parties have the opportunity to file motions, under seal, concurring with or opposing such requests.  K.S.A. 22-2302(c)(3)(B); K.S.A. 22-2502(e)(3)(B).  A court is charged with determining whether any of the bases for seal advanced by the parties are sufficient for the court to find that sealing the probable cause affidavit in its entirety is “necessary to prevent public disclosure” of information it contains because that information “would” interfere with one of the rights set forth in K.S.A. 22-2302(c).  A court can deny access if it finds that disclosure would:

    (A) jeopardize the physical, mental or emotional safety or well-being of a victim, witness, confidential source or undercover agent, or cause the destruction of evidence;

    (B) reveal information obtained from a court-ordered wiretap or from a search warrant for a tracking device that has not expired;

    (C) interfere with any prospective law enforcement action, criminal investigation or prosecution;

    (D) reveal the identity of any confidential source or undercover agent;

    (E) reveal confidential investigative techniques or procedures not known to the general public;

    (F) endanger the life or physical safety of any person;

    (G) reveal the name, address, telephone number or any other information which specifically and individually identifies the victim of any sexual offense described in article 35 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to their repeal, or article 55 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated or K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-6419 through 21-6422, and amendments thereto;

    (H) reveal the name of any minor;

    (I) reveal any date of birth, personal or business telephone number, driver's license number, nondriver's identification number, social security number, employee identification number, taxpayer identification number, vehicle identification number or financial account information; or

    (J) constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. As used in this subparagraph, "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" means revealing information that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and is totally unrelated to the alleged crime that resulted in the issuance of the search warrant, including information totally unrelated to the alleged crime that may pose a risk to a person or property and is not of legitimate concern to the public. The provisions of this subparagraph shall only be used to redact and shall not be used to seal affidavits or sworn testimony.

    The same framework applies to requests for search warrants under K.S.A. 22-2502.

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  • New Mexico

    Presumably public, but no reported cases. Conceivably, some may be confidential due to the content.

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  • Wisconsin

    Arrest and search warrants are available for public inspection, subject to the balancing test, but usually only after charges have been filed, or the investigation is otherwise closed.

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