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FOIA Request for Autopsy Report

FOIA Request for Autopsy Report

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Published by Tom Ciesielka
Letter to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Chicago, Illinois from the Life Legal Defense Foundation.
Letter to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Chicago, Illinois from the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Tom Ciesielka on Aug 08, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Dana Cody, Esq.
Executive Director 
Catherine W. Short, Esq.
Legal Director 
Mary Riley
 Administrative Director 
Allison K. Aranda, Esq.
Senior Staff Counsel
Board of Directors
 John R. Streett, Esq.
Dana Cody, Esq.Marcella Tyler Ketelhut Terry L. Thompson, Esq.Colette Wilson, Esq.Anthony E. Wynne, JD
Advisory Board
 The Hon. Steve Baldwin
San Diego, California
 The Rev. Michael R. Carey, OP, JD
Daniel Cathcart, Esq.
Los Angeles, California
 The Hon. William P. Clark
Paso Robles, California
Raymond Dennehy, PhD.
San Francisco, California
 The Rev. Joseph D. Fessio,SJ
San Francisco, California
 The Hon. Ray Haynes
Riverside, California
 James Hirsen, Esq.
Riverside, California
 The Hon. Howard Kaloogian
Los Angeles, California
David Llewellyn, Esq.
Sacramento, California
 Anne J. O’Connor, Esq.
New Jersey 
Charles E. Rice, Esq.
South Bend, Indiana
Ben Stein, Esq.
West Hollywood, California
Andrew Zepeda, Esq.
Beverly Hills, California
Northern California
 (Administration)P.O. Box 2105Napa, California 94558(707) 224–6675
Southern California
P.O. Box 1313Ojai, California 93024(805) 640–1940
August 3, 2012Office of Medical Examiner Bureau of Administration2121 West Harrison StreetChicago, Illinois 60612-3705312-666-0500
 RE: FOIA Request for Autopsy Report 
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,I am an attorney with the Life Legal Defense Foundation. It has come to myattention that a formal public records request was sent to your office by CherylSullenger requesting the autopsy report concerning the deceased Tonya Reaves(DOD 7-20-12). This request was sent in writing to your agency on July 23,2012. On July 31, 2012, Ms. Sullenger received a phone call from your officeinforming her that her request was denied because she did not have familyauthorization or a subpoena.Illinois law specifically states that all records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Illinois CompiledStatues Annotated Section 140/1.2. Further, the state of Illinois has not exempted“autopsy reports” from the public access requirement. To the contrary, in 2010the Illinois Public Access Counselor reviewed a Freedom of Information Act(FOIA) request for autopsy reports in the files of the medical examiner andconcluded that, “the reports are public records and should be released.” Ill. Att'yGen. Pub. Acc. Op. No. 10-003, issued October 22, 2010. In fact, the FOIAGuide for Law Enforcement published July 12, 2012, by the Attorney General’sOffice also specifically states that autopsy reports are public records and should be released.As such, your office has no basis to deny my client’s request for the autopsyreport involving the deceased Tonya Reaves. I expect your office willimmediately comply with Ms. Sullenger’s lawful request for this publicdocument. If your office does not comply, we will be forced to take legal action pursuant to Illinois Compiled Statues Annotated Section 140/11.It should be noted that your office has already failed to comply with Illinois law inregards to the denial of Ms. Sullenger’s request. Illinois Compiled StatuesAnnotated Section 140/9 provides “Each public body denying a request for  public records shall notify the requester in writing of the decision to deny the request, the reasons

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