1. Aprilann
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    Aprilann New Member

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    Police Reports

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Aprilann, Sep 4, 2011.

    Hi,

    I'm in the middle of a novel where an infant was abducted from the hospital the day she was supposed to go home with her parents.

    That occured in 1954.

    I'm now in 1972 and her adopted brother is attempting to find her. He will be going to the police station and wants to see the police reports.

    Would he be able to see the reports or not? I'm not sure if they would be sealed from anyone.

    If they are not open to the public or open for her adopted brother to review do you think it would be reasonable that a letter signed and notarized by the infant's mother would give him that permission?

    Thanks for any info you might have.

    Aprilann
     
  2. Talitha
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    Talitha Member

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    I don't know about the law, but if you want to get around it, have the character be friends with someone in records. Like maybe the lady in charge is his best friend's mother?
     
  3. Aprilann
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    Aprilann New Member

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    Thanks

    That will be another possibility. I'm thinking now of how that could happen and which character would be friends with someone in the records department.

    Thanks,

    Aprilann
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Police reports would not have been sealed if the case remained unsolved, which I am assuming from your post it would be. OTOH, if the case was unsolved, I'm not sure the police reports would be of much value in finding the person. After all, if the police had found the child, she would have been returned to her parents.
     
  5. Aprilann
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    Aprilann New Member

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    Thanks for that info.

    I'm thinking the police reports would have witness statements, etc. and since the police did not do a good job working on the case the step brother can at least try to find the witness' and see if he can get more info from them.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    No. I'm pretty sure those records would be sealed, especially if the case is still open and unsolved. The files would be loaded with confidential information about all sorts of people, probably including the victim's own family, and the police would argue that showing the records might end up contaminating the case. But the brother might be able to get a copy of them through lawyers and official information requests. Don't forget though, in 1972 the legislation that allowed people to do this was far different / less powerful then it is today.

    However, it occurs to me that on all the older tv shows, private detectives usually seem to be able to get a look at these records through their 'contacts'. Maybe he could hire Magnum PI.

    Cheers.
     
  7. Aprilann
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    Aprilann New Member

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    Yes. I'm thinking in 1972 in a small town it could go either way as the rules could have been broken for special friends.

    There is an extremely beautiful older woman who perhaps has an old friend working at the department that would do anything for her.

    Hmmmm.....

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

    April
     

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