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An old teammate of mine now works for Miami Beach police department. Years back I had been caught doing something on South Beach that remained on their record, but I was never arrested or charged with anything (they let me go with a warning). Since I was never booked or charged or arreste, this fact is not something that is available for the public (as an arrest or a traffic violation would be). Well, my teammate, for whatever reason, looked me up in their system and saw this event, and went on and tld my coach and who knows who else about it. I do not believed he is allowed to disclose this type of information to the public, I want to know what him doing that is alled and if I would be justified in writing a letter of complaint to his department.

thanks

-Alberto

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First let me say that in no way is my post intended to be an agreement to represent you or to create any attorney client relationship. Nor am I telling you how Florida law, statute or case, deals with your situation in any form whatsoever nor is it meant to tell you what your specific rights, immunities, or liabilities under Florida law are. Your best bet would be to consult with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida.

 

As a general matter, a number of states do have a tort for disclosure of private facts-widespread dissemination about confidential information about someone that would be objectionable to the average person. In terms of writing any letter complaining about someone, a number of states do have the tort of defemation in which one reveals untrue information about someone that adversely affects them. A common way of defending against the tort of defemation is if the complaint in the letter was true.

 

However, let me be clear. None of this is an interpretation of your situation under Florida law or in anyway telling you what you should or should not do in terms lawsuits or writing letters. You should speak with someone who is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida before making decisions based on the information I gave you.

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I wouldn't just give him a warning. He violated you by talking about confidential matters. I would write a letter to the MB police. Because if he's doing this to you, he's probably doing it to others. And having a grand old time of it.

 

 

 

First let me say that in no way is my post intended to be an agreement to represent you or to create any attorney client relationship. Nor am I telling you how Florida law, statute or case, deals with your situation in any form whatsoever nor is it meant to tell you what your specific rights, immunities, or liabilities under Florida law are. Your best bet would be to consult with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida.

 

As a general matter, a number of states do have a tort for disclosure of private facts-widespread dissemination about confidential information about someone that would be objectionable to the average person. In terms of writing any letter complaining about someone, a number of states do have the tort of defemation in which one reveals untrue information about someone that adversely affects them. A common way of defending against the tort of defemation is if the complaint in the letter was true.

 

However, let me be clear. None of this is an interpretation of your situation under Florida law or in anyway telling you what you should or should not do in terms lawsuits or writing letters. You should speak with someone who is licensed to practice law in the state of Florida before making decisions based on the information I gave you.

 

 

 

 

 

I love the disclaimer at the beginning.

 

 

"Look! Is that a light on in David Singer's office?!"

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Alot depends on the nature of the scope that the officer told the coach in. If in logical way he can claim that he was doing this as a duty to the community as extended by his job, he would most likely be covered by USC Section 1983, which provides public offciers with immunity from suit, etc.. as long as they are doing something within the scope of their job. Sometimes this can be tricky and hard to prove, because the scope can be seen as exceedingly larger. If you really have no damage done to your person or reputation, and are not intrested in a suit, your best option would be to squash this and inform both your former teammate, as well as his bosses (MD Police Department), of the situation and your thoughts on it.

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Alot depends on the nature of the scope that the officer told the coach in. If in logical way he can claim that he was doing this as a duty to the community as extended by his job, he would most likely be covered by USC Section 1983, which provides public offciers with immunity from suit, etc.. as long as they are doing something within the scope of their job. Sometimes this can be tricky and hard to prove, because the scope can be seen as exceedingly larger. If you really have no damage done to your person or reputation, and are not intrested in a suit, your best option would be to squash this and inform both your former teammate, as well as his bosses (MD Police Department), of the situation and your thoughts on it.

 

Which is exacly what I'll do, though if i write a letter to the dept. I wanted to make sure I use the proper wording. Its not libel, violation of privacy maybe?

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Alot depends on the nature of the scope that the officer told the coach in. If in logical way he can claim that he was doing this as a duty to the community as extended by his job, he would most likely be covered by USC Section 1983, which provides public offciers with immunity from suit, etc.. as long as they are doing something within the scope of their job. Sometimes this can be tricky and hard to prove, because the scope can be seen as exceedingly larger. If you really have no damage done to your person or reputation, and are not intrested in a suit, your best option would be to squash this and inform both your former teammate, as well as his bosses (MD Police Department), of the situation and your thoughts on it.

 

Which is exacly what I'll do, though if i write a letter to the dept. I wanted to make sure I use the proper wording. Its not libel, violation of privacy maybe?

 

Well, the key is to cover all angles in case the problem does not stop. You don't want to make a partial claim as a matter of respect, only to have to re-visit the issue in the future and change the terms.

 

I'd personally talk about an invasion of privacy, abuse of position (with exceeding the scope of his job requirements), damage to reputation and an undue burden of stress caused by this damage to reputation.

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February 14, 2007

 

 

 

Chief of Police

Miami Beach Police Department

1100 Washington Avenue

Miami Beach, Fl 33139

 

Attention: names withheld

 

Reference: Officer name withheld

 

Esteemed Captain:

 

I am writing to you in reference to what I deemed to be inappropriate and unethical behavior by Officer name withheld while on duty. In December three years ago I was regrettably found walking along South Beach, [event withheld]by the MBPD. To not go too much into details of the event, I was let go with a warning and a friend drove me home. This occurrence was absolutely shameful on my behalf, and as thus I have never mentioned it to anybody that was not there that night.

 

It has recently come to my attention that Officer name withheld, once a teammate of mine at FIU Rugby, has found it upon himself to look up my criminal history while on duty, and has discussed this information to a third party, our rugby coach.

 

Since this incident never resulted in an arrest, and I was never charged with any misconduct, the information disclosed by Officer name withheld is not available for the public to see (as opposed to traffic citations, for example). I believe Officer name withheld looked up this information on me solely to obtain conversation material, and that to me is extremely worrisome. The fact that he would invade my privacy by abusing his position (exceeding the scope of his job requirements) leads me to believe that he may be doing the same for other acquaintances of his, and that should definitely be a concern to you.

 

I do not feel that my reputation has been damaged in this particular incident because I maintain a friendly relationship with my coach, but I cannot know if Officer name withheld is discussing this incident with others. I am graduating college soon, and have been conducting interviews for several large companies, so I wouldn?t want this information to reach the wrong ears.

 

I hope that proper actions will be taken to ensure that such an incident does not repeat itself. I do not plan to take other action than writing this informative letter, but other victims of Officer name withheld?s abuse of power may not take the incident so kindly, and I do not wish for the police department to be wasting money in defending lawsuits for defamation.

 

Sincerely,

 

For review before I send it...comments?

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I'd get rid of the last paragraph, what happened to you isn't cool and while it's not the Chief's fault you can't be friends with him either.

 

I'd throw something in there to remind them that while this incident may not have harmed you, you can't possibly justify this type of activity and that you will seek proper action if it is allowed to continue.

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Guest markotsay7

I agree with TSwift for sure...you need to threaten further action. You don't have to follow on it, but you do need to threaten it, so that they will take some action. Otherwise they'll read the letter, laugh, and toss it in the garbage.

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February 14, 2007

 

 

 

Chief of Police

Miami Beach Police Department

1100 Washington Avenue

Miami Beach, Fl 33139

 

Attention: names withheld

 

Reference: Officer name withheld

 

Esteemed Captain:

 

I am writing to you in reference to what I deemed to be inappropriate and unethical behavior by Officer name withheld while on duty. In December three years ago I was regrettably found walking along South Beach, [event withheld]by the MBPD. To not go too much into details of the event, I was let go with a warning and a friend drove me home. This occurrence was absolutely shameful on my behalf, and as thus I have never mentioned it to anybody that was not there that night.

 

It has recently come to my attention that Officer name withheld, once a teammate of mine at FIU Rugby, has found it upon himself to look up my criminal history while on duty, and has discussed this information to a third party, our rugby coach.

 

Since this incident never resulted in an arrest, and I was never charged with any misconduct, the information disclosed by Officer name withheld is not available for the public to see (as opposed to traffic citations, for example). I believe Officer name withheld looked up this information on me solely to obtain conversation material, and that to me is extremely worrisome. The fact that he would invade my privacy by abusing his position (exceeding the scope of his job requirements) leads me to believe that he may be doing the same for other acquaintances of his, and that should definitely be a concern to you.

 

While I cannot conclusively state the scope of this unfortunate event, I must make you aware that my life is in a fragile flux. Graduation is imminently approaching and as such, so will the inevitable job search. It is my hope that this will not adversely affect me in any way but please be advised that if it does my options will be very limited, and I assure you I will explore them all fully. Moreover, if this is allowed to continue, I will have no choice but to seek legal recourse.

 

Sincerely,

 

That's how I'd change it.

 

You have to be very careful about what you admit to, and even more careful about what you put dated and in writing. Either A) knowing harm was done to you, conclusively dating it and dragging your feet or B) admitting no wrong doing are a wet-dream for the defense.

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Okay, as someone who is actually a lawyer, and one who practices local government law, I'm still not so sure, based on the facts you just gave, that the record in question is not, in fact, a public record that is subject to inspection under Chapter 119, Florida Statues.

 

If the information was revealed in an incident report, that report is a public record unless specifically listed as an exempt document under Chapter 119. Just because you were not arrested doesn't mean that the report is not a public record. Also, because you say you are with FIU Rugby, you're not a minor, meaning that it is not sealed because you're a juvenile.

 

I would need more details from you in order to render an opinion as to whether there has been a violation here on the part of the City. But based on the few details you gave, I do not think there was any legal misconduct on the part of anybody.

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Okay, as someone who is actually a lawyer, and one who practices local government law, I'm still not so sure, based on the facts you just gave, that the record in question is not, in fact, a public record that is subject to inspection under Chapter 119, Florida Statues.

 

If the information was revealed in an incident report, that report is a public record unless specifically listed as an exempt document under Chapter 119. Just because you were not arrested doesn't mean that the report is not a public record. Also, because you say you are with FIU Rugby, you're not a minor, meaning that it is not sealed because you're a juvenile.

 

I would need more details from you in order to render an opinion as to whether there has been a violation here on the part of the City. But based on the few details you gave, I do not think there was any legal misconduct on the part of anybody.

 

I did a search in Miami-Dade public records and it does not come up. How can I check? I don't know if they ever filed an incident report, I assumed they just put a note of the incident on their system somehow.

 

Searching Alberto Pisani here: http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/cjis/default.asp, nothing comes up.

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I did a search in Miami-Dade public records and it does not come up. How can I check? I don't know if they ever filed an incident report, I assumed they just put a note of the incident on their system somehow.

 

Searching Alberto Pisani here: http://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/cjis/default.asp, nothing comes up.

 

Those are the civil records that are filed with the Public Records of the Clerk of the Court, but those are not all the "public records" in the State of Florida. Any document prepared by a local government and kept in their offices constitutes a "public record" unless exempted by the Florida Legislature and listed under Chapter 119, Florida Statutes (which is accessible HERE). Based on a preliminary review of the exemptions and your case, I'm afraid that the information you're seeking to have confidential is NOT exempt under the Florida public records law and anybody may be able to request it, as long as they file an official Ch. 119 request.

 

Here are the relevant exceptions that apply to "police reports":

 

119.0713 Local government agency exemptions from inspection or copying of public records.--

 

(1) All complaints and other records in the custody of any unit of local government which relate to a complaint of discrimination relating to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, marital status, sale or rental of housing, the provision of brokerage services, or the financing of housing are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until a finding is made relating to probable cause, the investigation of the complaint becomes inactive, or the complaint or other record is made part of the official record of any hearing or court proceeding. This provision shall not affect any function or activity of the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such complaints or records by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency's statutory duties. This subsection shall not be construed to modify or repeal any special or local act.

 

1(2) All personal identifying information contained in records relating to a person's health held by local governmental entities for the purpose of determining eligibility for paratransit services under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act or eligibility for the transportation disadvantaged program as provided in part I of chapter 427 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, except as otherwise provided in this subsection. This exemption applies to personal identifying information contained in such records held by local governmental entities before, on, or after the effective date of this exemption. Information made confidential and exempt by this subsection shall be disclosed:

 

(a) With the express written consent of the individual or the individual's legally authorized representative;

 

(b) In a medical emergency, but only to the extent necessary to protect the health or life of the individual;

 

© By court order upon a showing of good cause; or

 

(d) For the purpose of determining eligibility for paratransit services if the individual or the individual's legally authorized representative has filed an appeal or petition before an administrative body of a local government or a court.

 

(3) The audit report of an internal auditor prepared for or on behalf of a unit of local government becomes a public record when the audit becomes final. As used in this subsection, the term "unit of local government" means a county, municipality, special district, local agency, authority, consolidated city-county government, or any other local governmental body or public body corporate or politic authorized or created by general or special law. An audit becomes final when the audit report is presented to the unit of local government. Audit workpapers and notes related to such audit report are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until the audit is completed and the audit report becomes final.

 

(4) Any data, record, or document used directly or solely by a municipally owned utility to prepare and submit a bid relative to the sale, distribution, or use of any service, commodity, or tangible personal property to any customer or prospective customer is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption commences when a municipal utility identifies in writing a specific bid to which it intends to respond. This exemption no longer applies when the contract for sale, distribution, or use of the service, commodity, or tangible personal property is executed, a decision is made not to execute such contract, or the project is no longer under active consideration. The exemption in this subsection includes the bid documents actually furnished in response to the request for bids. However, the exemption for the bid documents submitted no longer applies after the bids are opened by the customer or prospective customer.

 

or

 

119.071 General exemptions from inspection or copying of public records.--

 

(2) AGENCY INVESTIGATIONS.--

 

(a) All criminal intelligence and criminal investigative information received by a criminal justice agency prior to January 25, 1979, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 

(b) Whenever criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information held by a non-Florida criminal justice agency is available to a Florida criminal justice agency only on a confidential or similarly restricted basis, the Florida criminal justice agency may obtain and use such information in accordance with the conditions imposed by the providing agency.

 

©1. Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 

2. A request of a law enforcement agency to inspect or copy a public record that is in the custody of another agency, the custodian's response to the request, and any information that would identify the public record that was requested by the law enforcement agency or provided by the custodian are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, during the period in which the information constitutes criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information that is active. This exemption is remedial in nature, and it is the intent of the Legislature that the exemption be applied to requests for information received before, on, or after the effective date of this subparagraph. The law enforcement agency shall give notice to the custodial agency when the criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information is no longer active, so that the custodian's response to the request and information that would identify the public record requested are available to the public. This subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed October 2, 2007, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

 

(d) Any information revealing surveillance techniques or procedures or personnel is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Any comprehensive inventory of state and local law enforcement resources compiled pursuant to part I, chapter 23, and any comprehensive policies or plans compiled by a criminal justice agency pertaining to the mobilization, deployment, or tactical operations involved in responding to emergencies, as defined in s. 252.34(3), are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution and unavailable for inspection, except by personnel authorized by a state or local law enforcement agency, the office of the Governor, the Department of Legal Affairs, the Department of Law Enforcement, or the Department of Community Affairs as having an official need for access to the inventory or comprehensive policies or plans.

 

(e) Any information revealing the substance of a confession of a person arrested is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, until such time as the criminal case is finally determined by adjudication, dismissal, or other final disposition.

 

(f) Any information revealing the identity of a confidential informant or a confidential source is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 

(g) When the alleged victim chooses not to file a complaint and requests that records of the complaint remain confidential, all records relating to an allegation of employment discrimination are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 

(h)1. Any criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information including the photograph, name, address, or other fact or information which reveals the identity of the victim of the crime of sexual battery as defined in chapter 794; the identity of the victim of a lewd or lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of a person less than 16 years of age, as defined in chapter 800; or the identity of the victim of the crime of child abuse as defined by chapter 827 and any criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information or other criminal record, including those portions of court records and court proceedings, which may reveal the identity of a person who is a victim of any sexual offense, including a sexual offense proscribed in chapter 794, chapter 800, or chapter 827, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 

22. In addition to subparagraph 1., any criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information that is a photograph, videotape, or image of any part of the body of the victim of a sexual offense prohibited under chapter 794, chapter 800, or chapter 827, regardless of whether the photograph, videotape, or image identifies the victim, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to photographs, videotapes, or images held as criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information before, on, or after the effective date of the exemption.

 

(i) Any criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information that reveals the personal assets of the victim of a crime, other than property stolen or destroyed during the commission of the crime, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 

(j)1. Any document that reveals the identity, home or employment telephone number, home or employment address, or personal assets of the victim of a crime and identifies that person as the victim of a crime, which document is received by any agency that regularly receives information from or concerning the victims of crime, is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Any information not otherwise held confidential or exempt from s. 119.07(1) which reveals the home or employment telephone number, home or employment address, or personal assets of a person who has been the victim of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated stalking, harassment, aggravated battery, or domestic violence is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, upon written request by the victim, which must include official verification that an applicable crime has occurred. Such information shall cease to be exempt 5 years after the receipt of the written request. Any state or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such documents by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of such agency's statutory duties, notwithstanding this section.

 

2.a. Any information in a videotaped statement of a minor who is alleged to be or who is a victim of sexual battery, lewd acts, or other sexual misconduct proscribed in chapter 800 or in s. 794.011, s. 827.071, s. 847.012, s. 847.0125, s. 847.013, s. 847.0133, or s. 847.0145, which reveals that minor's identity, including, but not limited to, the minor's face; the minor's home, school, church, or employment telephone number; the minor's home, school, church, or employment address; the name of the minor's school, church, or place of employment; or the personal assets of the minor; and which identifies that minor as the victim of a crime described in this subparagraph, held by a law enforcement agency, is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Any governmental agency that is authorized to have access to such statements by any provision of law shall be granted such access in the furtherance of the agency's statutory duties, notwithstanding the provisions of this section.

 

b. A public employee or officer who has access to a videotaped statement of a minor who is alleged to be or who is a victim of sexual battery, lewd acts, or other sexual misconduct proscribed in chapter 800 or in s. 794.011, s. 827.071, s. 847.012, s. 847.0125, s. 847.013, s. 847.0133, or s. 847.0145 may not willfully and knowingly disclose videotaped information that reveals the minor's identity to a person who is not assisting in the investigation or prosecution of the alleged offense or to any person other than the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or a person specified in an order entered by the court having jurisdiction of the alleged offense. A person who violates this provision commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

 

As you can see, the information you're seeking to have kept "secret," if part of an official record kept in a file at the Miami Beach Police Department is a public record, unless it fits into one of the exemptions above.

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...as long as they file an official Ch. 119 request.

 

 

So he filed an official request to look this up info up?

 

Could I allegde (sp?) that he did not file for this official request? (which he probably didnt since that record has nothing to do with anything he may be investigating)

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