Sen. Wyss has introduced SB 369 concerning disclosure of public records. It has a couple of provisions, but I only have time to mention one.
Under current law, law enforcement agencies have discretion to decline to provide “investigatory records.” So, if you want a police report related to an ongoing criminal investigation, the agency can decline to provide you with a copy. Under the proposed legislation, for such records, the agency would be entitled to:
Refuse to confirm or deny the existence of the record regardless of whether the record exists or does not exist, if the fact of the record’s existence or nonexistence would reveal information that would have a reasonable likelihood of threatening public safety.
The legislation then goes on to provide a mechanism for appealing such a refusal. I’m just having a hard time envisioning what the trial court proceedings would look like. “Your honor, I’m not saying this record exists; and I’m not saying this record doesn’t exist. But, if it did exist, it would totally be likely to compromise public safety if we told you one way or the other.”