Brandonlyn Nunley / Department of Public Safety - Chapter 22 - Police Records
2 January 2014 BY EMAIL ONLY
720 9th Street
Sibley, IA 51249
RE: Complaint 13FC:0032 – concerning a complaint involving release of law enforcement records (Iowa Code Chapter 22)
Dear Ms. Nunley:
The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) received your complaint of November 11, 2013. In that complaint you alleged that Lt. Darin Fratzke of the Iowa State Patrol had not responded to your request for records you submitted on October 31, 2013. You further alleged that Larry Noble of the Department of Public Safety did not respond to your records request of May 31, 2013.
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the Executive Director. The decision of the Executive Director is subject to review by the Board. Your complaint as to Lt. Fratzke does fall within the jurisdiction of the IPIB, as it timely alleges a violation of Chapter 22. Your complaint as to Larry Noble does not fall within the jurisdiction of the IPIB as it was filed beyond the 60-day statutory jurisdictional limitation of Iowa Code Section 23.7.
Upon investigation of your complaint concerning Lt. Fratzke, it appeared that he was not the custodian of the records you requested. This office contacted Lt. Robert Hansen with the Iowa Department of Public Safety on November 15, 2103, to determine the name and contact information of the custodian. Lt. Hansen was reassigned to other duties shortly after that date, and Sgt. Scott Bright assumed the duties of Public Information Officer for the Iowa State Patrol. Your complaint was forwarded to him on November 20, 2013. Sgt. Bright was on vacation from November 22, 2013, to December 2, 2013.
Upon his return on December 2, 2013, Sgt. Bright investigated your request and provided the records within his jurisdiction on December 6, 2013. In addition to the records released, Sgt. Bright also answered your questions, which were not a request for records under Chapter 22.
Some of the records you requested were not with the Iowa State Patrol. Sgt. Bright determined the probable custodian of those records and supplied you with that information on December 6, 2013.
By email on December 13, 2013, you acknowledged receipt of the requested records and indicated that you would be pursuing release of the other records from the Paullina, Iowa, Police Department.
Iowa Code Section 23.8 provides two options for action by the IPIB upon receipt of a complaint, the second of which states:
“Determine that, on its face, the complaint is outside its jurisdiction, is legally insufficient, is frivolous, is without merit, involves harmless error, or relates to a specific incident that has previously been finally disposed of on its merits by the board or a court. In such a case the board shall decline to accept the complaint. If the board refuses to accept a complaint, the board shall provide the complainant with a written order explaining its reasons for the action.”
For the reasons set forth above, it is therefore ordered that the complaint is dismissed on the grounds that the alleged violations of Chapter 22 are either outside the jurisdiction of IPIB or are legally insufficient and/or involve harmless error. The IPIB acknowledges that determining the proper custodian to request these records was difficult. The IPIB plans to review this issue, not only as to the Highway Patrol and DPS, but as to all Iowa governmental bodies.
Should you have difficulties with your request for the other law enforcement records, please contact us again for assistance.
A copy of this Order is being forwarded to the Iowa Public Information Board for review at its next scheduled meeting on January 16, 2014.
cc: Sgt. Scott Bright, Iowa State Patrol