Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Allegheny County; Honorable Robert E. Dauer, Judge.
Michelle P. Sullivan, Pittsburgh, pro se.
Gretchen G. Donaldson, Associate Sol., Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Craig and Barry, JJ., and Blatt, Senior Judge.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 340]
Michelle P. Sullivan appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County denying her petition to examine a file of the City of Pittsburgh, Department of Public Safety. We affirm.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 341]
On October 29, 1987 Sullivan was the victim of a criminal assault. The crime was investigated by City of Pittsburgh Police. As of the date Sullivan filed her petition no arrests had been made in the case. Sullivan was denied access to the investigation and case file by the City Police. She then petitioned the trial court for access to the file. After a hearing the trial court denied the petition. Sullivan now appeals to this Court.
Sullivan sought access to the police file pursuant to the Act of June 21, 1957, P.L. 390, as amended, 65 P.S. §§ 66.1-66.4, commonly referred to as the Right-to-Know Act (Act). Section 2 of the Act provides, "Every public record of an agency shall, at reasonable times, be open for examination and inspection by any citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." 65 P.S. § 66.2. The question presented in the case before us is whether records of police investigations are "public records" within the meaning of the Act. We conclude that they are not.
Section 1(2) of the Act provides:
'Public Record.' Any account, voucher or contract dealing with the receipt or disbursement of funds by an agency or its acquisition, use or disposal of services or of supplies, materials, equipment or other property and any minute, order or decision by an agency fixing the personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties or obligations of any person or group of persons: Provided, That the term 'public records' shall not mean any report, communication or other paper, the publication of which would disclose the institution, progress or result of an investigation undertaken by an agency in the performance of its official duties, except those reports filed by agencies pertaining to safety and health in industrial plants; it shall not include any record, document, material, exhibit, pleading, report, memorandum or other ...