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Are Police Reports Public Record In Pa

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Find Butler County Police Records

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Butler County Police Records are documents created by Police Departments that document the details of crimes, arrests, and the criminal activities of particular individuals in Butler County, Pennsylvania. The Butler County Police Department maintains detailed records on arrests, investigations, and the actions of police officers and makes many of these records available for public search and background checks.

Learn about Police Records, including:

  • Where to get free Police Records online
  • How to perform a Butler County background check
  • Where to get accident and crash reports
  • Which public records are available from Butler County Police Departments
  • Where to find mugshots online

What Type Of Information And Data Is Contained In A Police Report

The following are types of data and information that may be included. Please note that there is no universal police report. Information will vary from department to department.

  • Identifying information for all parties involved in the incident, including full name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security numbers, driver license numbers
  • Date of the occurrence or incident
  • Location of the occurrence or incident
  • The officers name and ID number
  • The names of other officers who were present
  • Diagrams or drawings of the scene
  • The names of witnesses and their statements
  • Reference number

The law enforcement case file may also contain motor vehicle information, as well as specific details of the incident and any evidence associated with the case.

Examples of police reports may include but are not limited to domestic disputes, traffic accidents, thefts, fraud, assault, burglaries, and stalking incidents. Other information that may be available includes crime surveys, crime statistics, calls for service, weather information, and traffic accident surveys.

Where Can A Person Find Pennsylvania Vital Records

As the official custodian of vital records for the state of Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries, which is overseen by the department of health, has been in charge of files since 1906. Through their online portal, it is possible to obtain birth certificates, death certificates, certified copies of marriage licenses, and fetal death certificates.

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Protected By An Exemption Listed In Section 708

The Right to Know Law lists 30 exemptions agencies may invoke to protect their records though they are not required to do so.

An agency may choose to disclose records even if those records are protected by an exemption, provided that all of the following apply:

Disclosure of the record is not prohibited by:

  • Federal or State law or regulation, or
  • Judicial order or decree

The record is not protected by a privilege and

The agency head determines that the public interest favoring access outweighs any individual, agency or public interest that may favor restriction of access.

The most commonly-litigated exemptions are:

  • The Personal Security Exemption: Any record that, if disclosed, would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm to, or the personal security of, an individual. For example:
  • The Commonwealth Court determined that, in the case of inmate transfer records, Department of Corrections employees identities were exempt under the Right to Know Laws personal security exemption because the disclosure of such information in the context of a correctional institution would create a substantial risk to the personal security of the individuals.
  • The following is the full list of exemptions:

    1a.Loss of funds: If the record is disclosed, the agency would lose federal or state funds.

    1b. Personal security: See commonly-litigated exemptions above.

    • See most commonly-litigated exemptions above for examples of this exemption.

    What Is The Best Public Records Search Database

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    Determining the best public records search database is based on the type of public record in consideration. The best public record database will usually be one that is operated by agency-appointed custodians. A lot of government agencies in Pennsylvania operate online databases where public records can easily be accessed. Philadelphia County, for example, operates an inmate locator search tool that allows requesters to access inmate information online. Allegheny County Department of Court records provides an online court records database where requesters can access criminal, civil and marriage records. Likewise, the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds has a Public Search database where all records in their custody can be viewed online.

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    What Information Is In An Accident Report

    If the police dont respond, drivers are required to report their accident to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In most cases, the police will arrive at the scene of the crash to make an accident report.

    The accident report will include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location of the incident
    • Driving conditions, such as weather and visibility
    • A visual chart detailing the accident
    • Contact information and names of the drivers
    • Details regarding property damage and injuries
    • The name and badge number of the responding officer

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation only releases copies of accident reports to certain authorized parties. To request an accident report, you may need to contact the police station that filed the document.

    Who Are The Authorized Persons In Pennsylvania Vehicle Code

    Persons authorized by Section 3751 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code include any person involved in the crash, their attorney, insurer, the Federal Government, Branches of the Military Service, Commonwealth Agencies, Officials of Political Subdivisions, or Agencies or other States and Nations and their political subdivisions.

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    How Do I Find Out About A Car Accident

    Police Departments: State and local law enforcement agencies may also be able to provide basic information about auto accidents. If you call a local police department, they may be able to tell you if an official crash report listed a persons name as having been involved in an accident in recent days/hours.

    How Do I Look Up Criminal Records In Pa

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    Where can a person find Pennsylvania criminal records?

  • The Pennsylvania State Police maintain the records and provide an online database to conduct a search.
  • It is also possible to access dispositions on criminal cases by reviewing court docket sheets that are located at the Pennsylvania Judiciary web portal.
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    How Do I Find Public Records In Pennsylvania

    Under the statutes on the RTKL, record keepers and custodians must provide access to a public record on receiving a valid and complete record request. A requester may acquire copies of a required public record by making a request using a few simple steps given by the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records.

    • Determine the type of information you require and the agency in charge

    The first step is to simply determine what record you require and the custodial agency. For example, a court record would likely be at the court where the case was heard and in possession of the clerk of the court. Records on information about Pennsylvania’s state park system would be in possession of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Figuring out the right agency and custodian of the record will prevent misdirected requests and save you a lot of time and effort. Since misdirected requests are so common the OOR has a table of misdirected requests to help requesters identify the right agencies when searching for a record.

    • Contact the custodian
    • Composing and Submitting the Request

    The request itself can be in various forms, where possible it is better to use the request form provided by the agency being requested from. It is also possible to make requests using the Office of Open Records standard RTK request form which is available in PDF and Microsoft Word. Most record requests can be filed or submitted in several ways:

    Right To Know / Open Records Law

    Requesting Millcreek Township Records

    Requests for records must be addressed to the Agency Open Records Officer and can be submitted by email, fax, mail or in person. The request should be specific and not seek answers to questions. After filing a request, a response will be issued within 5 business days.

    Millcreek Township Open-Records Officers

    Telephone: 833-1111, ext. 314

    Fax: 833-8336

    Filing An Appeal

    When a request is denied or deemed denied, a requester may file an appeal to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. The appeal must be filed within 15 business days of the denial or deemed denial date. The appeal must also include the request, agency denial if one exists, and address agency grounds that the request was denied. An appeals officer will determine if the record is subject to public access.

    An Appeal may be filed to the Office of Open Records via its Online Appeal Form, email, fax, or in person at:

    Office of Open Records

    333 Market Street, 16th Floor

    Harrisburg, PA 17101-2234

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    What Does The Pennsylvania Public Records Law Say

    According to the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, anyone is able to access the public records in the state, and this act covers all three branches of government with only certain court records exempted. Additional exemptions are listed for personal records, records that could compromise public safety, and documents that contain trade secrets.

    As far as response times from agencies are concerned, the state government must respond within five business days.

    If a request is denied, there is an appeals process. A requester can contact the states Office of Open Records, which can issue opinions to other agencies. In order to force records into disclosure, the requester must file a suit in court.

    In Pennsylvania, the fees associated with records requests are limited, with agencies only being able to charge for the actual costs of duplicating a record. This is more conservative than some states, which charge for staff time and resources.

    How Much Do Public Records Cost In Pennsylvania

    Organization &  Records

    The Right to Know law allows free access to open records but permits agencies to charge fees for duplication, postage, and official certification ). The prices may be set by the OOR or the agency but must be comparable to similar services provided by local business entities ). The OOR provides a fee schedule as a guide to how much the commonwealth and local agencies may charge for records and services. Government agencies will not process a copy request over $100 until they receive payment and there is no limit to how many copies can be ordered.

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    Are Car Accident Reports Public Record In Philadelphia

    Ryan Zavodnick | September 22, 2021 | Car Accidents

    If you have been in a collision in Philadelphia, PA, you may wonder whether it needs to be reported.

    After a car accident, it can be hard to know where to start. You may wonder whether a police report of the accident will be necessary to make an insurance claim. If it is, you might be curious about how to obtain that accident report.

    A qualified car accident lawyer can help you to secure the best possible outcome in your case. Below, we will examine several of the most common questions relating to car accident reports.

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    How Do I Find An Accident Report Online In Pa

    To Obtain Your PA State Police Accident Report Online

  • Visit the Online Crash Report Requests website.
  • If you have a copy of your Police Crash Report you can search by your incident number.
  • If you dont, you can search by your name and date.
  • Add the crash report to your cart and complete the $22 purchase.
  • Attorneys And Law Firms

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    The following attorneys and law firms have practiced public records law. Names marked with an asterisk have indicated a willingness to offer pro bono services on a case by case basis.

    There are currently no experienced public records law attorneys that we know of in Pennsylvania. Write to us at if you know of any and want to help us out!

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    What Information Is Needed To Request A Vital Record

    A request for information can be done via Pennsylvanias State Registrar & Vital Records site, where interested parties can provide relevant information about a specific record. This information may include:

    • The location of the event
    • The approximate date of the event
    • The full name of the person, including maiden names
    • A case file number for divorce records
    • The license number for a marriage record

    How Can I Obtain A Copy Of My Accident Report

    Car accident reports are restricted to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. There is no long-term restriction on police accident reports for the individuals involved in the crash.

    You can request a copy of your car accident report through the Pennsylvania State Police. There is an application form that should be filed no earlier than 15 days following the collision.

    The cost of requesting a collision report is $22.00. The reports can be requested online or by mail.

    For a mail-in request, the Pennsylvania State Police will require an SP 7-0015 form. This form is known as the Application to Obtain Copy of Police Crash Report.

    The SP 7-0015 form must be mailed to the following address:

    Attention: Crash Reports Unit

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    Process To Request An Open Record

    If you would like to make a request for a copy of an Open Record, complete the required Open Records Request Form .

    Your request should then be emailed, faxed or sent to the Right to Know Officer.

    Submit general requests to Susan Schaeffer, Assistant Secretary.

    For Police Department specific requests, please , Chief of Police.

    Upon receipt of a request, the Right to Know Officer will:

    • Note the date of receipt on the written request
    • Compute the day on which the five-day period will expire and make a notation of that date on the written request
    • Maintain an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the request has been fulfilled. If the request is denied, the written request shall be maintained for 30 days or, if an appeal is filed, until a final determination is issued or the appeal is deemed denied

    Where Can I File A Police Report Online

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    You typically can find your local police departments website by doing a quick internet search with the word police and the name of your city, or the city where the incident occurred. Once on the website, look for a link that will allow you to file a police report online. Not all police stations will allow you to file a police report online.

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    Whats On A Court Record

    In the majority of cases, court records are quite large and come with several varying documents. Most people find these documents the most helpful:

    • Court minutes

    Requesting court records is usually the most difficult request. Its not uncommon for a state to require requesters to visit a specific courthouse, like a county court, to request records in person. However, Pennsylvania has many of its records online.

    A public records search for court documents in this state can return information on civil cases, traffic cases, criminal cases, landlord-tenant cases, and non-traffic cases. You can search and view individual court case information free of charge by visiting the portal, where you will be able to find the following records:

    • Appellate court case information
    • Criminal courts of common pleas
    • Magisterial district court case information including:
    • civil cases
    • non-traffic cases
    • landlord/tenant cases

    Requesters that wish to order paper case records that are maintained by a magisterial district court office need to speak with someone at the courthouse. For complex requests, the magisterial district court may ask you to fill out a request form.

    Are Police Reports Public Records

    Many types of police records are exempt from public disclosure. There are two main reasons why they arent publicly available. First, disclosing the information could undermine an ongoing investigation. Second, it could jeopardize someones privacy and safety. In some cases, departments will release certain information related to the report, such as to a reporter doing a story. However, they rarely release a full copy.

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    How Do I Lookup Public Records For Free In Pennsylvania

    The possibility of locating free public records in Pennsylvania will depend on the record and agency in the custody of it. For example, many Pennsylvania courthouses maintain computer terminals on the premises where requesters may search court records for free. Using this method or requesting to physically inspect records in person is a good way to view records for free. Most court records can also be viewed online using the search tools on the Pennsylvania judiciary website. Pennsylvania also operates a sex offender registry and a state inmate locator that are good places to view records for free. Viewing records online and physically is usually free while requesting photocopies may incur both copying and postage fees. Requesters can also avoid these fees by asking for electronic versions to be delivered via email instead.

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