West Virginia. We found 16 states that have statutes directly addressing disclosure of tapes. Of these, seven have statutes directly addressing disclosure of transcripts see Table 3. Ten states specifically prohibit the release of all or some of the content of tapes, with certain exceptions.
Generally, the prohibitions do not apply to disclosures 1 to law enforcement and emergency services agencies or 2 required pursuant to a court order. In three other states Connecticut, Georgia, and North Dakota , disclosure is allowed, but agencies that maintain the information have discretion about whether to grant or deny access. The Connecticut law applies to recordings made on or before May 7, Two states North Carolina and Virginia specify that tapes are public records though in the former, the portions revealing a caller ' s identity are not.
And in South Dakota, the tapes are available if a law enforcement agency or court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the nondisclosure interest. Of the seven states that directly address transcripts, five specify that information, other than personally identifying information, must or may be disclosed.
Two others South Dakota and Pennsylvania specify that the information is available if a law enforcement agency or court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the nondisclosure interest. Direct Limitations on Disclosures: Tapes. Direct Limitations on Disclosures:. For recordings made on or before May 7, , law enforcement agencies are not required to disclose the portion of a recording where the individual speaking on the recording describes the condition of a homicide victim, but this does not apply to a recording that consists of an emergency call or other call for assistance made by a member of the public to a law enforcement agency.
Except for requests by an accused or his or her attorney, not required to disclose. Disclosure prohibited except to:. Personally identifying information and personal medical information may also be withheld. Public information contained in a call must be disclosed in the form of a transcript.
Personally identifying information is confidential and must be excluded from the transcript, except that a public safety answering point may disclose it to:.
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Available only to the person making the call or, if concerning a decedent, the decedent ' s representative. Data about decedents becomes public 10 years after the person ' s death and 30 years after the data ' s creation. A written transcript of a audio recording is public, unless it reveals the identity of an individual otherwise protected by law. Information including the date, time, specific location, and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding an initial crime report is available to the public.
Available only to a government agency or body, or a private entity or person providing medical, ambulance, or other emergency services. NC Stat. To protect a caller ' s identity, the contents of a call may be released as a written transcript or altered to protect his or her identity.
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ND Stat. A public agency may deny access to audio recordings. A person may listen to, but not copy or record the audio if he or she requests to do so and may ask for a written transcript. Personal information, and the identity, address, and phone number of a person requesting assistance may be redacted before its release. A person may ask for a written transcript of a audio recording. Personally identifying information of a person requesting assistance may be redacted before its release.
Exempt from disclosure and available only if the agency or a court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure. Rhode Island.
RI Gen. Only under a court order or with written consent of the caller whose voice is recorded or under a court order. In most circumstances, available if the law enforcement agency or a court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the nondisclosure interest. Records of any call for service or other communication to or an equivalent system are public documents. Tapes of calls reporting a crime may be released only under a court order, subpoena, or criminal case discovery or to law enforcement.
Tapes of calls for emergency services not reporting a crime are publicly available. Transcripts of calls reporting a crime are public. Personally identifying information is confidential and must be excluded from the transcript. If confidential information cannot be redacted so as to protect the caller ' s identity, the agency may decline to provide the transcript.
In that case, the requestor may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order to release the transcript. Disclosure of information obtained through the system is prohibited except to law enforcement personnel or public agencies for official business, to the person in interest, or under a court order. While the report identifies statutes that directly address crime scene photographs, autopsy reports, and all types and transcripts, their disclosure may also be limited by provisions in state law that apply to general categories of records.
For example, most states exempt from disclosure law enforcement investigatory records. Whether a particular document can be withheld under this exemption in a particular state will. In addition, the scope of the investigatory records exception varies among the states. Some of the variations include whether the exemption:. Some states also have statutes prohibiting disclosure of a record when disclosure would invade a person ' s privacy. For example, Hawaii, Illinois, and Kansas prohibit disclosure of records that would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and Kentucky law requires a court order before disclosing a record that would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy Haw.
Other provisions may be relevant to whether these records can be disclosed in some states. Florida Fla. Georgia Ga. Minnesota Minn.
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- STATES' LAWS ON DISCLOSING CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHS, AUTOPSY REPORTS, AND TAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS.
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