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I'm currently defending the county in a section 1983 jail suicide case in state court. The suicide occurred in December of 2001. The plaintiff's lawyer is looking for smoking guns amongst the inmates who were incarcerated in our jail at that time. Thus, he wants last known address information for those inmates. Unfortunately for him, our records retention schedule provides for destruction of inmate files two years after their release/transfer. So, with the apparent blessing of the judge, he's hit on a new idea.

The judge has told us he will sign an order commanding the county to produce TCIC/NCIC records for the inmates in order to ferret out locating information for them. Five inmates are identified in discovery as potentially knowing something relevant. The other 495 or so inmates in the jail at the time would just be gravy, I guess.

Back to the subject at hand, however. Have any of you been faced with such an order? I am concerned because the purpose at issue here does not appear to be a criminal justice purpose within the purview of chapter 411. But it does seem that I would be confronted with "an order of a court of competent jurisdiction" within the scope of Gov't Code sec. 411.084(a)(2)(D). I figure I'll mandamus the judge if he orders disclosure of CHRI on the 490-plus inmates who haven't been shown to have any modicum of relevant knowledge. But, as to the other 5, I still would prefer not to be the plaintiff's PI, helping him build his case against my client.
Posts: 1233 | Location: Amarillo, Texas, USA | Registered: March 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What about notifying DPS and/or the FBI, as the originating agencies with regard to TCIC/NCIC records, and suggesting that they interpose an objection, since these are really their records...not yours. My argument would be that the Court's order affects your County's duties concerning CCHR confidentiality but does not affect the rights and privileges of the originating agency (DPS and the FBI.)
Posts: 188 | Location: Lubbock, Texas USA | Registered: October 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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