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6. Compilations of criminal histories

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  • Alaska

    A detailed discussion of Alaska’s statutes and regulations governing access to information in criminal justice information systems is found in Open Records Guide section II.B.7.

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  • Arizona

    Criminal histories maintained by the Board of Fingerprinting are exempt from the Arizona Public Records Law, except for a report that provides the number of applications for a good cause exception and the number of applications that were granted.  A.R.S. § 41-619.54.

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  • Arkansas

    Criminal histories are compiled and maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center, and they are exempt from the FOIA. Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-1003(e).

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  • California

    Exempt. Local summary criminal history information (“rap sheet”) is exempt from disclosure. Cal. Penal Code § 13300. Also, records pertaining to closed investigations unrelated to any contemporaneous law enforcement activities are not required to be disclosed under Government Code Section 6254(f). Only specific information from contemporaneous investigations must be disclosed. Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(f)(1). See County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Kusar), 18 Cal. App. 4th 588, 598-99, 22 Cal. Rptr. 2d 409 (1993) (placing time-restriction on access to information required to be disclosed under subdivision (f)(1) for arrests); but see Frederick v. Superior Court, 233 Cal. App. 4th 209, 233, 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 526 (2015) (casting doubt on continued validity of Kusar).

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  • Colorado

    Compilations of criminal history are open under Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-303.

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  • Connecticut

    See Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 54-142c and 52-142k as discussed above in Records Outline at II.B.17 and 18 and Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 54-76l and 54-76o as discussed above in Records Outline at II.B.19.

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  • Delaware

    Title 11 Chapter 85 restricts access to criminal histories.  News media may be given conviction data, but not all criminal history data. Bd. of Managers of Delaware Criminal Justice Info. Sys. v. Gannett, 2003 WL 1579170 (Del. Super. Jan. 17, 2003).

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    The Act itself does not address compilations of criminal histories.  Otherwise by law and regulation, Georgia specifically permits criminal justice agencies to release prior criminal history information to the news media or any other person if the information is based on data contained in: (a) posters, announcements, flyers or computerized databases created to aid in the identification or arrest of fugitives, wanted persons, habitual offenders, career criminals or highly dangerous offenders; (b) incident reports, arrest/booking reports and other reports prepared by criminal justice agencies and defined by law as public records; or (c) official records of public judicial proceedings.  Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 140-2-.01.

    The Georgia Department of Corrections maintains a publicly-accessible online database of currently incarcerated and previously incarcerated offenders:  http://www.dcor.state.ga.us/GDC/OffenderQuery/jsp/OffQryForm.jsp

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  • Hawaii

    Arrest logs must be disclosed. See Public Access to Police Blotter Information, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 91-4 (Mar. 25, 1991). There is no exception for disclosure of names of individuals who were arrested and later released without charges being filed or released pending further investigation. Police Blotter Information, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 07-04 (Mar. 22, 2007). Conviction information in the Hawai‘i Criminal Justice Data Center’s database of information concerning the criminal history of individuals is public, but non-conviction information, including arrest information, is confidential and can only be disclosed to certain persons or under certain circumstances as set forth in Haw. Rev. Stat. § 846-9. Access to Arrest History Information, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 97-05 (June 10, 1997).

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  • Idaho

    Criminal histories are not categorically exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.  Idaho Code § 74-124(3)(g). But see Idaho Code § 74-105(12) (“criminal history records and fingerprints, as defined by section 67-3001, Idaho Code, and compiled by Idaho state police are exempt. Such records shall be released only in accordance with chapter 30, title 67, Idaho Code”).

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  • Illinois

    Open, pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/2.15(b).  That subsection provides a non-exclusive list of records pertaining to criminal history record information which should be open: “(i) court records that are public; (ii) records that are otherwise available under State or local law; and (iii) records in which the requesting party is the individual identified, except as provided under Section 7(1)(d)(vi).”  5 ILCS 140/2.15(b); see Public Access Opinion 11-001 (available at http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/pdf/opinions/2011/11-001.pdf).

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  • Indiana

    Access to criminal histories is governed by Indiana Code Section 10-13-3-27. Access is permitted only in sixteen instances, including if the individual has applied for employment with the requestor; is a candidate for public office or is a public official; has been or is in the process of being arrested; or has been convicted of major felonies; is a volunteer at a public school or at an organization where contact with children is expected; is being sought by a parent locator service; is a registered sex or violent offender. Id.

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  • Iowa

    See generally Iowa Code § 22.7(5).

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  • Kansas

    Correctional records pertaining to an identifiable inmate are exempt from disclosure. K.S.A. 45-221(a)(29). Kan. Att’y Gen. Op.s 1984-124, 1982-226.

    Permanent records of specified crimes are open. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op.s 1982-226; 1979-17. Conviction records required to be kept by statute are open. 1975-211.

    Criminal records previously closed under a valid expungement order may not be disclosed to the victim, or anyone else, unless such person qualifies for access pursuant to K.S.A. 21-6614. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1992-27. Municipal court DUI diversion agreements are public records under KORA and must be disclosed upon request. 1994-07.

    Juvenile offender records generally cannot be disclosed unless a K.S.A. 38-2309 statutory exception applies. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1995-94.

    Information provided to the law enforcement officer as required by the sex offender registration act, K.S.A. 22-4901, et seq., is open. K.S.A. 45-221(a)(29)(C).

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  • Kentucky

    Open, however, the primary compiler of criminal histories is the Administrative Office of the Courts, an entity not subject to the Open Records Act. Ex Parte Farley, 570 S.W.2d 617, 624 (Ky. 1978) (“[T]he custody and control of the records generated by the courts in the course of their work are inseparable from the judicial function itself, and are not subject to regulation.”).

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  • Louisiana

    Public information, if they do not pertain to a pending or reasonably anticipated criminal prosecution. See Op. Att'y Gen. 77-1370 and State v. Sanders, 357 So. 2d 1089 (La. 1978). But see Ellerbe v. Andrews, 623 So. 2d 41 (La. App. 1st Cir. 1993) (constitutional privacy interests prevent disclosure in a civil suit of a party's "rap sheet" from the State's centralized computer system).

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  • Maine

    Records containing conviction data are open to the public. 16 M.R.S.A. § 703(2), (3).   Non-conviction data is generally confidential.  Id.

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  • Maryland

    Criminal history record information is exempt from disclosure.  Md. Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-219(a).  One intent of the law is “to prohibit the improper dissemination” of the information.  § 10-202(4) CHRI is data “developed or collected by a criminal justice unit about a person and that pertain to a reportable event.” § 10-201(d)(1).  Criminal history record information does not include: data contained in intelligence or investigatory files or police work product records used only for police investigations, including presentence investigation reports; police blotters, wanted posters, court opinions, records of judicial proceedings, information about motor vehicle or local ordinance violations, or presentence or probation reports used in judicial proceedings; or data about violations of traffic laws, local ordinances or State or local regulations. §10-201(d)(3).  The disclosure of the CHRIs is treated in a similar vein as the release of expunged records. § 10-204; § 10-109.

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  • Michigan

    While there “is undoubtedly some public interest in anyone's criminal history [or autopsy report and toxicology test results], especially if the history is in some way related to” a public official, “the FOIA's central purpose is to ensure that the Government's activities be opened to the sharp eye of public scrutiny, not that information about private citizens that happens to be in the warehouse of the Government” be disclosed.  Swickard, supra at 575 (quoting Reporters Committee).

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  • Montana

    The rules for disseminating criminal history information are generally determined by whether the information is “public” or “confidential.” Criminal history information that falls in the category of “public criminal justice information” must be released to the public. Mont. Code Ann. § 44-5-302.
    Criminal history information that is not “public criminal justice information” can be released if:
    1) the release is consented to by the person the information is about. Mont. Code Ann. § 44-5-302 (1)(a).
    2) the district court determines that the release is necessary.
    3) the dissemination is for statistical use, as provided for in Mont. Code Ann. § 44-5-304.
    If a person’s conviction record reflects only misdemeanors and deferred prosecutions and the record contains no convictions for the past years, except traffic and fish and game or regulatory convictions, then the conviction record may be closed to the public. 42 Mont. A.G. Op. 119 (1988). The information remains available from the originating criminal justice agency. 40 Mont. A.G. Op. 35 (1984).

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  • Nebraska

    Complete criminal history record information is generally public, Neb. Rev. Stat. §29-3520 (Reissue 2016), although criminal history information may be made non-public under certain circumstances when a prosecution does not result in a conviction.

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  • Nevada

    See Donrey of Nevada, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 106 Nev. 630 (1990).

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  • New Hampshire

    Neither the Statute nor case law addresses this issue.

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  • New Jersey

    Exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), codified at 5 U.S.C.S. § 552(b)(7)(C), requires the court to balance the privacy interest in maintaining the practical obscurity of the rap sheets against the public interest in their release. See, United States DOJ v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of Press, 489 U.S. 749 (1989).

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  • New Mexico

    Compilations of criminal histories are not available for inspection insofar as they reveal confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime.  See NMSA 1978 § 29-10-4.  However, if a criminal history merely reveals an individual who has been charged with a crime, such record is available to the public.  See id.

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  • North Carolina

    To the degree compilations are in existence, they would be public. In most instances, the Public Records Law does not obligate public agencies to create a record that is not already in existence.

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  • North Dakota

    Generally open. See N.D.C.C. § 12-60-16.2.

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  • Ohio

    Information, data, and statistics gathered or disseminated through Ohio’s law enforcement gateway are not public records except in certain circumstances. Ohio Rev. Code § 109.57(D);

    State ex rel. Multimedia, Inc. v. Snowden, 72 Ohio St. 3d 141, 144, 647 N.E.2d 1374, 1378, 1995-Ohio-248 (““rap sheets” generated in the investigation of police applicants are prohibited from being released by state and federal law”)(citations omitted).

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  • Oklahoma

    While there is no statutory or case law addressing this issue, an Oklahoma Attorney General opinion stated that neither a district attorney nor a police department must make available any record which includes a list of all charges contained in an information.  1999 OK AG 58.

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  • Oregon

    There is no statute or case law specifically addressing this issue. Such compilations do not fit the definition of an “arrest record.”

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  • Rhode Island

    Records maintained by law enforcement agencies for criminal law enforcement and all records relating to the detection and investigation of crime, including those maintained on any individual or compiled in the course of a criminal investigation by any law enforcement agency are subject to the standards enumerated under R.I. Gen. Laws §  38-2-2(4)(D).  However, a rap sheet or similar aggregated record of criminal history pertaining to an individual would likely be deemed non-public as they “could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”  United States Department of Justice v. Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 772 (1989).

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  • South Carolina

    Available in response to a written request for a fee set by law.  S.C. Code Ann. § 23-3-114; S.C. Regs. § R32-23.

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  • South Dakota

    Closed, generally. SDCL §23-6-14.

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  • Tennessee

    Open, but see T.C.A. §§ 4-51-103, 109, 110

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  • Texas

    Tex. Att’y Gen. ORD-565 (1990) discusses whether an individual may be entitled to a special right of access to his own federal criminal history when it is in the hands of local government and stated that criminal history information in the hands of a local governmental body obtained from the National Crime Information Center must be released pursuant to section 3B of the Open Records Act if the only interest protected by withholding it is the privacy of the requestor.  Pursuant to Section 552.023, a person or a person’s authorized representative has a special right of access, beyond the right of the general public, to information held by a governmental body that relates to the person and that is protected from public disclosure by laws intended to protect that person’s privacy interests. Also, all information contained in either an adult or juvenile’s sex offender registration form and which is subsequently entered into the department of Public Safety database is public information and must be released upon request, except for the registrant’s photograph, Social Security number, driver’s license number, street address and telephone number, and any information that, on its face, would directly reveal the identity of the victim. Tex. Att’y Gen. ORD-645 (1996).

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  • Utah

    a. Criminal history records and warrant arrest information are available to criminal justice agencies and to some noncriminal justice agencies and individuals for specific purposes. Other agencies are entitled to the information either by specific agreement or by authorization of the commissioner. The information “may be used only for the purposes for which it was provided and may not be further disseminated.” Utah Code § 53-10-108(5)(a).

    b. Access to presentence investigation reports is restricted by statute. Id. § 77-18-1(5).

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  • Vermont

    Vermont draws a distinction between criminal history reports and criminal conviction reports. A criminal history report provides all arrest and disposition information including pending, acquitted or dismissed charges. Criminal history information is only available to the person of record. A criminal conviction report provides only conviction information submitted by the court. Criminal conviction reports are available to anyone at https://secure.vermont.gov/DPS/criminalrecords/.

     

    Prior to sentencing a court shall order a presentencing investigation report or a parole summary relating to the defendant. Even a redacted report is not subject to disclosure unless the requesting party has “a proper interest in the report of parole summary” and the best interest or welfare of the defendant makes the action desirable or helpful. 28 V.S.A. § 204(d)(1).

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  • Virginia

    No special rule.

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  • Washington

    The CRPA allows access to records of convictions and records of those currently in the criminal justice system; however, records on charges that have not resulted in conviction or other adverse disposition and for which formal proceedings are over are closed to the public. RCW 10.97.050.

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    Criminal histories maintained by the Department of Criminal Investigation for the purpose of identifying suspects in crimes are confidential.  Wyo. Stat. 7-19-106 &109.

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