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PR 18-34 Milkovits v. Cranston Police Department - Violation

The Complainant alleged that the Police Department violated the APRA when it withheld a requested arrest report pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 12-1-12 and R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-2(4)(D)(c). We noted that a 1984 letter from then-Attorney General Dennis J. Roberts to then-Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel Walter E. Stone explained that R.I. Gen. Laws 12-1-12 does not apply to arrest reports. We then considered whether the arrest report would constitute "an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-2(4)(D)(c). We observed the "General Assembly's specific determination that arrest reports are public," though subject to limited redaction on a case-by-case basis. Radtke v. Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, PR 13-10. We also observed that the arrest report at issue was readily susceptible to redaction. We finally noted that the subject of the arrest report had not moved to seal the court records related to the arrest. We accordingly concluded that disclosure of the arrest report did not constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and that the Police Department violated the APRA by not disclosing it. We instructed the Police Department to do so, noting that the released arrest report could contain certain redactions but not the identity of the arrested individual.

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