Originally published August 27, 2016 at 03:17a.m., updated August 27, 2016 at 03:17a.m.
The Arkansas attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide a question that has wound through state courts for more than a year.
Can law enforcement agencies conceal adults’ names and other personal information contained in vehicle crash reports?
In a petition filed Friday, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office asked the nation’s highest court to “correct” an April 28 opinion by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which said crash report information must be revealed to the public.
That state Supreme Court opinion “erroneously construed” a federal law designed to protect drivers, said Rutledge’s petition for a writ of certiorari, a higher court review.
“The attorney general has said previously that the Arkansas Supreme Court decision jeopardizes citizens’ privacy rights,” spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement Friday.
The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in Arkansas State Police v. Wren that redacting personal information about adults in crash reports violates the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
That opinion affirmed a similar ruling by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Morgan “Chip” Welch in June 2015.