This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION 601 Uníon Street, Suíte 3100 Seattle, WA 98101-1374 (206) 623-9900 FAX (206) 624-6885
April 26, 2012
VIA FACSIMILE, E-MAIL AND
Chief Thayle "Buzz" Nielsen
West Valley City Police Department 3575 South Market Street
West Valley City, UT 84119
Sheriff Paul Pastor LESA Records
945 Tacoma Avenue South Tacoma, WA 98402
RE: Request for Records
Dear Chief Nielsen and Sheriff Pastor:
This law firm represents the Estate of Susan Cox Powell and her family in potential litigation in which they may seek civil redress in connection with Susan's disappearance on December 6, 2009.
Pursuant to our clients' rights under Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) and Washington's Public Records Act (PRA), we are requesting complete copies of any and all investigative files concerning the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell, which we understand are in the possession, custody and control of the West Valley City Police Department and the Pierce County
There is no doubt that between the intent of RCW 7.69, Crime Victims, Survivors and Witnesses and RCW 42.56, Public Records Act, public disclosure laws provide for production of your investigative files. Although public disclosure laws exempt some police investigative files from disclosure, the exemption applies only where disclosure would compromise the investigation or violate an individual's right to privacy. Neither factor is at issue here. The investigation into the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell has been a joint agency investigation between West Valley City Police and the Pierce
County Sheriffs Department. We believe Washington law applies to our request as
Anne M. Bremner Dír Tel: (206) 667-8270 Dir 909068x ADMITIED IN Fax: (206) 748-9001 abremnerrgstaffordfrey.com ww.staffordfrey.com Washíngton
Chief Thayle "Buzz" Nielsen
West Valley City Police Department Sheriff Paul Pastor Pierce County Sheriff's Department April 26, 2012
A violation of privacy is not at issue in this situation because we have been retained by Susan Cox Powells heirs to represent Susan Cox Powell's Estate and her family in any potential litigation in which they may seek civil redress; we are bound to maintain the protections of the attorney-client privilege. Furthermore, we are seeking the information to further our representation, not for release to other parties or the general public.
With regard to compromising the investigation, release of these records would not imperil either department's ability to investigate Susan's disappearance. Rather, release of the information we are seeking would further the interests of justice because it would allow us to better represent our client, the victim in this case.
Both Utah and Washington have enacted victims' rights acts that seek to involve the victims of violent crimes in the judicial process; in so doing, both states have extended rights of access to the victims of the crimes police are investigating. Under both states' Victims' Rights Act, "the rights extended... to victims and witnesses of crime are honored and protected by law in a manner no less vigorous than protections afforded criminal defendants." The ability of victims to access the records related to the crimes by which they were victimized falls squarely within the intent of the both acts.
We are aware that your agencies have declined to release records to members of the news media. The media's interest is different from our interest, and your decision not to release records to reporters should not have any bearing on your decision to release records to us. We are interested in the information contained in the investigative files in order to further our ability to adequately represent the family and estate of Susan Cox PowelL. We are not seeking the information for broad dissemination to the general public.
To that end, our GRAMA and PRA records request forms are enclosed. Our request includes, but is not limited to, all incident reports, detective follow-up reports, forensic analysis reports, evidence records, evidence receipts, officer and civilian witness statements, audio and video recordings, surveillance tapes, photographs, and written summaries and transcripts of any and all interviews of witnesses, suspects or person of interest.
Additionally, this records request is intended to include all written and electronic communications, reports and information transmitted to or received from any other law enforcement agency in connection with the disappearance of Susan Cox PowelL.
Chief Thayle "Buzz" Nielsen West Valley City Police Department Sheriff Paul Pastor Pierce County Sheriff's Department April 25, 2012
This records request is also intended to include all written and electronic communications, meeting agendas and minutes, memos, correspondence, reports and information transmitted to or received from the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, the West Valley City Mayor's Office and
the West Valley City CounciL.
We ask for a determination of this request within ten (10) days of receipt. If you determine that some but not all of the information is exempt from disclosure and that you intend to withhold it, I ask that you redact the information for the time being, release the remainder of the information, and provide an exemption and redaction log.
If I can provide any clarification that will help expedite this request, please contact me or my paralegal, Dori Mashburn at (206) 623-9900.
Please forward a statement for duplication charges and we will promptly remit
Very truly yours,
STAFFORD FREY COOPER
Anne M. Bremner
cc: Mike Winder, Mayor
Eric Bunderson, City Attorney Paul Isaac, Assistant City Manager Sim Gill, Salt Lake County District Attorney
WEST VALLEY CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
3575 S. Market St. West Valley City, UT 84119 (801) 963-3226
LAST NAME: BREMNEK__
CITY: ----- SEATTLE
SOC SEC #:___ _____ _______ DATE OF BIRTH: (MM/DDIYYYY): / /
(THOUGH NOT REQUIRED, SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE NECESSARY TO LOCATE THE DESIRED RECORDS)
DAYTIMEPHONE#:( 206) 623 9900
RECORDS REQUESTED: (case numbers, if
DATE OF REQUEST: APRIL 26 +-..lIlE:
Total # of Reports
REASON WHY I AM REQUESTING THESE RECORDS: ATTORNEY REPRESENTING THE
-- FAMILY AND ESTATE OF SUSAN COX POWELL. * * * * * * * * * * ** * ** * * * ** ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * ** * ** * * * ** * * * ** PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE SIGNING THIS REQUEST
Your request for records wil be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Government Records
Access Management Act (GRAMA), 63-2-101 et. Seq., Utah Code. Your request wil be handled as soonas reasonably possible, but may take up to ten business days to be granted
The records that may be provided to you, subsequent to your request, may contain information that is classifìed as "Protected", and wil be edited in accordance with GRAMA and may on~v be disclosed under
certain circumstances. 63-2-2-2 (U.C.A.) 1 understand that there is no charge to view a record
I agree to pay a reasonable fee to cover t actual cost of research and duplicating a record if copies are
requested, a minimum of $10.00 pe ort.
Requester's Signature: * * * * * * ** * * * ** ** * ** * * * * * ** ** * ** ** ** * * * * ** ** ** * ** *