Landmark's Letter to Palm Beach County Attorney's Office


LANDMARK LEGAL FOUNDATION

January 15, 2004

Mr. Barry Krischer
State Attorney
Palm Beach County
401 North Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

Mr. Steve Yeaw
Custodian of Records
Palm Beach County
401 North Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

BY FIRST CLASS MAIL AND FACSIMILE

Re: Request for Expedited Production of Public Records

Dear Messrs. Krischer and Yeaw:

This is a request for public records pursuant to the Florida Public Records Act, Ch. 119, Florida Statutes.

This request seeks all public records in the custody of the State Attorney's Office ("SAO") for the County of Palm Beach, or in the custody of any individual working for said office, which name or in any way reference Rush Limbaugh, and which cover the period of January 1, 2000 to present.

Pursuant to Section 119.011(1), public records are defined as "all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency."

This request includes all information, regardless of format. Moreover, it includes information stored on back-up data files, including disks and recordings of electronic communications.

Pursuant to Section 119.07(2)(a), the SAO is required to state with particularity the basis for any decision to withhold any information, in whole or in part. It provides, in relevant part:

He or she shall state the basis of the exemption which he or she contends is applicable to the record, including the statutory citation to an exemption created or afforded by statute, and, if requested by the person seeking the right under this subsection to inspect, examine, or copy the record, he or she shall state in writing and with particularity the reasons for the conclusion that the record is exempt.

Moreover, Section 119.07(2)(c) provides:

Even if an assertion is made by the custodian of a public record that a request record is not a public record subject to public inspection and examination under subsection (1), the requested record shall, nevertheless, not be disposed of for a period of 30 days after the date on which a written request requesting the right to inspect, examine, or copy the record was served on or otherwise made to the custodian of the record by the person seeking access to the record. If a civil action is instituted within the 30-day period to enforce the provisions of this section with respect to the requested record, the custodian shall not dispose of the record except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction after notice to all affected parties.

Pursuant to Section 119.07(3)(b)(1):

Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information are exempt from the provisions of subsection (1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

Landmark Legal Foundation ("Landmark") does not seek either "active criminal intelligence information" or "active criminal investigative information." Rather, Landmark seeks all public-record information including, but not limited to, communications to, from, between and with persons or entities unaffiliated with the SAO (e.g., the media, political organizations, the general public, and elected or appointed public officials).

Moreover, material revealing disclosure or use of confidential criminal justice information by the SAO or any individual working for said office is encompassed within Landmark's request. Pursuant to Fla. Stat. Sec. 838.21, such disclosure is a crime:

It is unlawful for a public servant, with intent to obstruct, impede, or prevent a criminal investigation or a criminal prosecution, to disclose active criminal investigative or inte

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