FOIA Advisor

Q&A: I just called to say . . .

Q&A (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.  Recently I filed a FOIA request/complaint to the Salisbury, NC police department, which arrested me for DWI.  At trial, two police officers testified that they dialed a telephone number for me and overheard me tell my girlfriend that I was sorry for wrecking her vehicle.  But I did not ask the police to dial any number for me. And I did not speak with my alleged girlfriend.  In fact, I spoke with a lawyer.  I first spoke to the lawyer's wife and she let me talk to her husband, the lawyer.  I was convicted and sentenced to 1 year in prison.  When I got out, I tried my best to obtain records about the telephone number and was denied at every level.  So, I filed a FOIA request to the police department and the sheriff's office to obtain records concerning the telephone number.  I have been given the run around.  

A.  Because your criminal case has been settled for more than a decade (see court opinion), the main issues here are whether the information you seek was reduced to writing and whether such documentation still exists.  If so, I am not aware of any statutory exemptions that would prevent the local law enforcement authorities from releasing the requested information to you.