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Bar Journal - Summer 2007

Murray v. NH State Police: The Right to Access Police Investigatory Files

By:

I.  Introduction        

        A family member drives from college in upstate New York to her home in northern New Hampshire for Thanksgiving. She was supposed to arrive home at five, but minutes pass, then an hour, then a couple of hours. She does not answer her cell phone. The police will not do anything until more time passes. Finally, after a sleepless night with no word, the police check the area roadways. They find the car, but no one is in it. The family member has disappeared, apparently without a trace.

        Over the next several months the police conduct an investigation, but there is no obvious progress. A frustrated family repeatedly asks what is going on, but the police, citing the need to safeguard the integrity of the investigation, refuse to provide details. The family asks the court to force the police to disclose information.

        The scenario above is hypothetical, but the situation is one that any parent would cringe at having to confront. A similar situation did arise recently in New Hampshire, and in Murray v. State Police1, the Court had to resolve the tension between a grief-stricken family’s need for information about its missing relative, and the police’s interest in shielding the product of its ongoing investigation from the public. The Court balanced the interests in favor of disclosure, but on remand, gave the police an opportunity to justify their decision to deny access to the file. In light of Murray, this article will review the constitutional and statutory underpinnings of the public’s right of access to governmental records, including police investigative files. It will explain what a member of the public must do to initiate the process, what objections the government might have, and how the courts balance these competing interests. The article will then review the Murray Court’s analysis and discuss what the police must do on remand in order to prevent disclosure. Finally, the article will address the significance of this case and why the legislature needs to more specifically address the issue of access to police investigatory files in RSA 91-A.

 

II. Facts of Murray v. NH State Police

      Maura Murray, a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, e-mailed her professors and employer on the afternoon of February 9, 2004, informing them that she was leaving town due to a family emergency.2  She packed a bag and printed off directions to a location in Vermont.3  Her directions showed that she may have been heading towards Stowe or Burlington, but evidence indicated that she exited Interstate 91 at Exit 17, headed east on Route 302, and then proceeded to turn onto Route 112 heading toward Lincoln.4  Around 7:00 p.m., Maura lost control of the car a mile from Swiftwater and crashed into some trees, causing minor damage to her car.5  A bus driver offered to call an ambulance and the police, but Maura stated that AAA had been called and was on its way.6  The bus driver called the police when he arrived home, but when the Haverhill police went to the accident site Maura was not there, and she has not been seen since.7 In the nearly three years since Maura’s disappearance, numerous agencies and individuals have attempted to find her without success.8 

        In 2004, Maura’s father, Frank Murray, filed a petition under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”)9 with the New Hampshire State Police and the Haverhill Police, seeking the release of the records in his daughter’s missing person case.10  On June 29 2004, Murray received a letter from the New Hampshire State Police which denied his FOIA request under RSA 91-A:5 IV.11  The letter stated that the release of these records would interfere with an ongoing police investigation and referred to Lodge v. Knowlton to support the decision.12   The Haverhill police also denied the FOIA request for the same reasons.13 

        In December 2005, Mr. Murray filed a petition in superior court seeking the release of the materials.14  The court ruled that the materials were investigatory in nature, and thus, to release such documents would interfere with future law enforcement proceedings.15  Mr. Murray appealed and the court had to decide whether to rule in favor of the grieving father or the law enforcement agencies that are still trying to find out what happened to Maura.16

 

III. Statutory and Constitutional Underpinnings of FOIA

      The origins of the public’s “right to know” go all the way back to the founding of the United States, when the colonists rallied against the British government for the release of information related to the running of the House of Commons and House of Lords.17  The forefathers stressed the importance of an informed citizenry and that the people should have a right to access information on the actions of their government.18  These ideals were incorporated in the Declaration of Independence19, the United States  Constitution20 and the constitutions of all 50 states.

        New Hampshire is one of only a few states whose constitution explicitly protects the public’s right of access.21  Part I, Article 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution gives the public the right to open access of the government’s actions.22 The people are sovereign under the New Hampshire constitution23 and the government is accountable to the people, thus as a result the people have a right to access government records.24 

        However, before 1976, the state Constitution did not provide the public with a method by which the government could be held accountable.25  In 1976, Article 8 was amended for the purpose of ensuring the public’s right to access.26  The amendment’s sponsor wanted to ensure that the legislature could be blocked from “completely doing away with the right to know”27. In the case, Hughes v. Speaker, NH House of Reps28, the court commented on the purpose of Article 8 and stated that “the public’s constitutional right of access is meant to satisfy an “end”; to wit, that government should be open, accountable, accessible and responsive. This “end” can and should be accomplished without severely curtailing the efficient operation of the government.”29 “The public’s right of access to governmental proceedings thus is not absolute.”30

        The federal courts have recognized that the right of access is also grounded in the First Amendment freedom of speech clause and the New Hampshire Supreme Court has also recognized that the public’s right to access is found through the “free speech clause of the state Constitution”.31  Part 1 Article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution states, “free speech and liberty of the press are essential to the security of freedom in the state: They ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.”32 Thus, the state constitutional right of access arises from both Article 8 and Article 22.33 

 

NH RSA 91-A Right to Know Law

        RSA 91-A is the New Hampshire law governing the disclosure of governmental records and proceedings.34  RSA 91-A codifies the public policy of a right to access as set forth in Article 8.35  RSA 91-A’s preamble states that, “Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society. The purpose of this chapter is to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people.”36 

        Under RSA 91-A, every citizen has the right to the open access of governmental records, however the release of some records is prohibited by certain statutory exemptions listed under RSA 91-A:5.37   The New Hampshire courts have made a clear presumption of favoring the disclosure of public records.38  The state Supreme Court has accepted that  RSA 91-A effectuates the goals of open access as set forth in Article 8 favoring public access of records and construing exemptions narrowly.39  When a public entity wishes to avoid the disclosure of records, they thus bear a heavy burden.40 

        RSA 91-A provides guidance to public and state agencies in New Hampshire as to what constitutes a public record41 and public meeting42 in this state, how the public shall be notified about an upcoming public meeting, what an individual’s rights are at a public meeting, when a meeting can be closed to the public, and how and when the public may gain access to public records.43  RSA 91-A covers the records and public meetings of government agencies, including the following: “any board, commission, agency or authority of any county, municipality, school district, or any other political subdivision; any board or commission of any state agency or authority, including the board of trustees of the state university system; the governor and council; the legislature; and advisory committees established by any of the foregoing public bodies”.44  RSA 91-A though does not apply to judicial records, but its proceedings and records are presumptively open to the public under NH case law.45  RSA 91-A, however, does not provide for every situation and every type of record, so the New Hampshire courts have looked towards other sources outside of New Hampshire to interpret the public’s right to access.46 

 

Federal Freedom of Information Act

        RSA 91-A has not been the only source that the New Hampshire courts have relied upon to effectuate the goals of public access as set forth in the constitution.47  The NH courts have adopted federal law and federal court decisions to further interpret Article 8.48  In Lodge v. Knowlton, the Court incorporated the six-prong test specified in Exemption 7 of the Federal Freedom of Information Act as “the standard to effectuate the balance of interests required by RSA 91-A with regard to police investigatory files.”49  RSA 91-A does not specifically address in its definition of “public records” police investigatory files, however in a 1974 memo concerning the Right to Know Law, the attorney general “stressed that records such as police investigatory records…are not subject to public inspection.”50  In the absence of legislative standards, the adoption of the federal FOIA provisions provides guidance to New Hampshire judges who may be faced with cases relating to such material.51  The federal FOIA law states that police investigatory records may be exempted from disclosure if one of six criteria is met.52  The release of police investigatory records must result in “a. interference with enforcement proceedings; or b. deprivation of a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication; or c. disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy; or d. revelation of the identity of a confidential source, and in the case of a record compiled by a law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by any agency conducting a lawful national security investigation, confidential information furnished only by a confidential source; or e. revelation of investigative techniques and procedures; or f. endangerment of the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel” in order to be considered for exemption from public disclosure. 53

 

IV. How to Make a FOIA Request

        Under the NH Right to Know law, a citizen may request the release of certain public documents unless the release is exempted by law.54  A citizen though must go through several steps before the public record(s) may be made available.55  First, the individual must determine what agency most likely possesses the records of interest.56  Once that has been determined, a citizen must then collect as much information as they can about the record they seek to request.57  When the requestor has accumulated as much information as possible about the record, they should then formally request in writing the release of the record.58  The letter should be directed to either the director of the agency or its FOIA officer.59  The letter should describe as fully as possible the records sought, but does not have to specify the reason or need for the record.60  Fees may be assessed by the agency before the record is released.61 

        According to state law, the minutes of a public proceeding shall be recorded and open for public inspection within 144 hours of the public meeting; minutes and decisions reached in a non-public session shall be disclosed within 72 hours of the meeting unless sealed at the discretion of the public body; and public records which are not immediately available for inspection must be available within five business days of the request.62  However, if the record can not be obtained within five business days the agency must provide the requestor with written acknowledgment of the receipt of the request and a statement describing the time necessary to determine if the request shall be granted or denied.63  If the request is denied, then the agency must provide in writing the reasons for the denial.64  A requestor denied access does have the right to file a petition in superior court and can appeal to the Supreme Court for the release of the documents.65 The court will examine if the reasons for the denial are sufficient to support non-release of the records.66  If the court does not believe there is sufficient legal basis to support non-release of the records, then the agency must either provide the court with a clearer explanation of why release must be denied or the agency must release the records in question.67     

 

V. Court’s Analysis in Murray

        The Murray Court examined the issue of the disclosure requirements for police investigative files under NH’s Right to Know law.68  In the case Lodge v. Knowlton, the court had adopted the six-prong test under FOIA for evaluating requests for access to police investigative files.69  The files in Murray were claimed to be exempt under Exemption A stating that “the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings”.70  The Murray Court noted that there was no contention that the requested documents were compiled for law enforcement purposes and were investigatory in nature, rather the key contention the court sought to examine is whether exemption under Exemption A applied in this case.71  The Court’s “key question in the analysis is whether revelation of the documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings”.72

        The Murray Court first examined how the court has viewed exemptions of the Right to Know law in the past.73  It noted that it “construes provisions favoring disclosure broadly, while construing exemptions narrowly”.74 The Court commented that the purpose of the “Right to Know law is to ensure the greatest possible public access to government actions, discussions, and records and their accountability to the people”.75  The statute though “does not provide unrestricted access to public records”.76  The Court’s role is to “resolve questions regarding the Right to Know law with a view to providing the utmost information in order to best effectuate the statutory and constitutional objective of facilitating access to all public documents”.77 The Court looks to other jurisdictions for guidance in making their decisions since other jurisdiction’s “decisions are interpretively helpful, especially in understanding the necessary accommodation of competing interests involved”.78 In this case, the Court had to consider the competing interests of the balance between public interests and the interests of law enforcement personnel in protecting the integrity of their investigation.79   

        The Court next began to analyze whether the agency had provided the court with sufficient explanation to prevent disclosure.80 The Court had in the past typically used one of two methods to analyze documents to see if there is a sufficient basis to prevent disclosure.81  These methods were in-camera review and the Vaughn index82  In-camera reviews can be used by the court if there is a question as to whether a judge should allow partial, full, or no disclosure of records in a FOIA request.83  However, in large document cases, where the Court can not possibly go through all of the documents, a Vaughn index is usually more appropriate.84  A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.85  This detailed affidavit “permit[s] the court system effectively and efficiently to evaluate the factual nature of disputed information”.86 The Murray Court stated, however, that neither of the above methods was appropriate for the circumstances in this case, and instead adopted the Curran Court’s categorization standard as a better means of handling situations involving Exemption 7(A).87 

        The Curran Court’s general category system has been adopted for situations involving Exemption 7(A) because the Vaughn index would bring about “the harm which the exemption was crafted to prevent”.88 As has been noted by the court, “the cure should not itself become the carrier of the disease”.89  The use of the Vaughn index would essentially reveal too much information about each document and thus cause the harm that the exemption was designed to prevent — the possible interference in future law enforcement proceedings through the release of sensitive information.90  Thus the Curran Court has recognized that in such situations, an agency need not make a Vaughn-specific offering, but rather a “generic determination of likely interference”.91  An agency must provide the court with a list of the categories of documents that the agency wishes to not disclose, which sufficiently explains what is contained in each category, coupled with a careful explanation to the court as to how interference with enforcement proceedings could occur.92 

        The Murray Court held that the categories and explanation submitted by the police did not meet the Curran standard and thus the police had not met their burden to justify the withholding of the requested documents.93  The Court remanded the matter for a new hearing.94  The police bore the burden of demonstrating why the information should not be disclosed and the vague categories that the police presented did not explain why “there was no reasonable segregable portion of any of the withheld material suitable for release…”.95  The court stated that the police needed to define their categories of information more precisely, so as to give the court a clearer picture of what documents were contained within each category and “to explain how the disclosure of the information within these categories could interfere with any investigation or enforcement”.96  The Court noted that if the police continued to resist disclosure, then they must make a presentation that will allow the superior court to determine how the disclosure of the requested records would interfere with a future law enforcement proceeding.97

 

V. Analysis

      This ruling provides an important benchmark for New Hampshire, clarifying the standard that agencies must use to justify a 7A Exemption under FOIA. After Murray, the police now have a three-fold task to justify an exemption from releasing investigatory records.98  The police must define records in a functional categorical fashion, conduct a document-by-document review to assign documents to the proper category, and, finally, explain how the release documents in each category would interfere with enforcement proceedings.99  This standard was correctly adopted by the Murray Court because it best effectuates the goal of providing the court with the information it needs to make a determination for or against disclosure without revealing the information that needs to be protected in a law enforcement investigation. The Vaughn index would provide the court with a more in-depth look at records and a basis for their exemption in comparison to the Curran standard, but it could also release the information that law enforcement personnel seek to protect.  

        The Curran standard is not a perfect solution for examining if a record should be exempt from public access. It is not easy to follow this standard because, essentially, “a tightrope must be walked”.100  The categories provided must be “distinct enough to allow meaningful judicial review, but yet not so distinct as prematurely to let the cat out of the investigative bag.”101  The standard, though, is not impossible to meet, as the FBI demonstrated in the Curran case. To comply, the police must take the time to carefully go through the files in question, document-by-document, subdividing them into functional categories of records. Then the investigative agency seeking to prevent their release must provide affidavits or documentation explaining why release of the material would interfere with future law enforcement proceedings.102 No doubt, this is time-consuming, especially if a large number of files are associated with an investigation, but this is a task that police must undertake if they believe public disclosure would harm an investigation. However, if the police do not take these necessary steps to justify their exemption, then the records should be released. Mr. Murray has a right to see if the police have conducted their investigation properly.

        People have the right to look into the actions of their government and a father who is concerned that the police are not using their resources to the utmost to find his missing daughter has even more reason to be allowed access if an investigation’s integrity will not be compromised by the release of the records.

        Though it is my contention that the situation that arose in the Murray case might not have even made it to the Supreme Court if the New Hampshire legislature had more recently updated and amended RSA 91-A. While the state police clearly had not provided enough information to justify withholding its files from the public, the legislature has provided little guidance over the years in matters relating to public disclosure of police investigatory records. The legislature has recognized the importance of the balance between public access and the need to protect investigatory records103, but has never amended RSA 91-A to reflect it. Police investigatory files are not discussed or listed anywhere within the language of RSA 91-A. The federal FOIA provisions regarding exemptions for police investigatory files have been adopted by the court and the courts have further defined the standards that police need to follow in order to justify nondisclosure such as in the current case, but the legislature has not amended RSA 91-A to reflect these provisions. The rulings that have been made in the NH courts do have the full effect of law in New Hampshire. The legislature, however, should be providing more guidance to its state agencies on the standards they need to adopt in Right to Know requests. I recommend that RSA 91-A be amended to include the standards and decisions that have been made by the courts in regards to public access of records. While it is true that the legislature can not reasonably predict every issue that may arise in regards to public disclosure of records, lawmakers could at least take steps to create a more comprehensive and inclusive Right to Know law that agencies and the public can more readily access to understand their public access rights.   

     

VI.  Conclusion

      The Murray Court has adopted a new standard for reviewing whether police investigatory records should be exempt under Exemption 7A. This standard is by no means a perfect solution, but it follows New Hampshire policy in weighing the balance between the public’s right to know and the protection of an investigation’s integrity. The Curran categorization standard best balances the concerns of both the police in protecting the investigation and the Court’s need to have an adequate method of examining the contents of records to determine whether non-disclosure is justifiable. The Court recognizes the need to protect the integrity of an investigation, but also understands that if it cannot be demonstrated that the investigation will be comprised by the release of information, then individuals like Mr. Murray may exercise their right to review the actions of their government by reviewing those documents.

        The Murray decision puts the onus back on the police to demonstrate to the Court that the release of the records would compromise their investigation. If they cannot provide the Court with adequate proof to support their contention, then Mr. Murray should have access to the files from his daughter’s case.

 

ENDNOTES

1.     Murray v. N.H. Division of State Police, 913 A.2d 737 (2006).

2.     Gary E. Lindsley, Police have New Lead in Maura Murray Case, The Caledonian Record (May 6th, 2004).

3.     Id.

4.     Id.

5.     Id.

6.     Id.

7.     Id.

8.     Id.

9.     Federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (1996).

10.    Gary E. Lindsley, State, Haverhill Police Won’t Release Murray Information, The Caledonian Record (July 24th, 2004).

11.    Id.  The letter stated that “A determination has been made these files are investigative in nature, the release of requested reports, logs and data information would be a disclosure constituting an unwarranted invasion of privacy under RSA 91-A:5 IV.”

12.    Id. Lodge vs. Knowlton involved a case filed by Bruce Lodge against Col. Harold Knowlton of the New Hampshire State Police. Lodge had attempted to obtain an accident report regarding an accident involving a police chief while operating his cruiser.  The court determined that the six-prong test of 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) (7) provided a good standard to effectuate the balance of interests required by RSA CH. 91-A with regard to police investigatory files. One of the elements involves invasion of privacy.

13.    Id.

14.    Murray v. N.H. Division of State Police, 913 A.2d 737 (2006).

15.    Id.

16.    Id.

17.    Foerstel, Herbert N., Freedom of Information and the Right to Know: The Origins and Applications of the Freedom of Information Act, 1-4 (Greenwood Press, 1999).

18.    Id.  John Adams stated “The people have a right, an indisputable, inalienable, indefensible divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers”. 

19.    Declaration of Independence (1776)

20.    US Const.

21.    Hughes v. Speaker, NH House of Reps, 152 NH 276, 289 (2005).

22.    NH Const. Part I, Art. 8

23.    NH Const. Part I, Art. 7

24.    NH Const. Part I, Sec. 8 “All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them.  Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.”

25.    Hughes, 152 NH at 286

26.    Id., The amendment added the following words to Art. 8: “Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.”

27.    Id.

28.    In Hughes v. Speaker, NH House of Reps, the court examined the public’s right to know law in the context as to whether a new school funding bill violated the public’s statutory and constitutional right to know.  The court held that the constitutional right to know provision was not violated.

29.    Id. at 295

30.    Id.

31.    Keene Sentinel , 136 NH 121, 127 (1992). See also Associated Press v. State, 888 A.2d 1236 NH (2005).

32.    NH Const, Art I, Sec. 22

33.    Associated Press, 888 A2d at 1245.

34.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 91-A (1977)

35.    Hughes, 152 NH at 286.

36.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 91-A:1 (1977).

37.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 91-A:4 (1977), “Every citizen during the regular or business hours of all such bodies or agencies, and on the regular business premises of such bodies or agencies, has the right to inspect all public records, including minutes of meetings of the bodies or agencies, and to make memoranda, abstracts, and photographic or photostatic copies of the records or minutes so inspected, except as otherwise prohibited by statute or RSA 91-A:5”.

38.    See e.g., Goode v. New Hampshire Office of Legislative Budget Assistant, 145 NH 451, 767 A.2d 393 (2000).  

39.    Hughes, 152 NH at 285-286.

40.    City of Nashua, 141 NH 473, 476 (1996).

41.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §91-A (1977), As defined in NH RSA 91-A, a public records include all records kept by a public body in any form, including documents, books, papers, recordings, or photographs, and records of payments made to an employee of a public body (or his or her agent) upon resignation, discharge or retirement where the payment is in addition to regular salary or fringe benefits. In the interests of confidentiality, there are certain records to which the general public does not have access.

42.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §91-A (1977), Under NH RSA 91-A, a meeting must fit the definition of a public meeting before it is subject to the Right-to-Know Law. A public meeting occurs whenever a quorum meets to discuss or act on any matter within the power of the public body.Public meetings do not include chance meetings or social gatherings, as long as there is no discussion of official business. Meetings relating to strategy or negotiations regarding collective bargaining and consultations with legal counsel are also excluded from the definition of a public meeting.

43.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §91-A (1977).

44.    NH Bar Association, Your Rights Under the Right to Know Law (August 2003), http://www.nhbar.org/for-the-public/your-rights-under-the-right-to-know-law.asp.

45.    Keene Sentinel , 136 NH at 126. “Absent some overriding consideration or special circumstance the courts of New Hampshire have always considered their records to be public.”

46.    Federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7) (1996).

47.    Lodge v. Knowlton, 118 NH 574, 577 (1978)

48.    Id.

49.    Id.

50.    Id. at 576

51.    Id. at 577

52.    Federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7) (1996).

53.    Id.

54.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §91-A (1977); 91-A:5 Exemptions: The following records are exempted: records of grand and petit juries; records of parole and pardon boards; personal school records of pupils; records pertaining to internal personnel practices; confidential, commercial, or financial information; test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment, or academic examinations; and personnel, medical, welfare, library user, videotape sale or rental, and other files whose disclosure would constitute invasion of privacy; teacher certification records, both hard copies and computer files, in the department of education, provided that the department shall make available teacher certification status information; records pertaining to matters relating to the preparation for and the carrying out of all emergency functions; unique pupil identification information collected in accordance with RSA 193-E:5; any notes or other materials made for personal use that do not have an official purpose, including notes and materials made prior to, during, or after a public proceeding; and preliminary drafts, notes, and memoranda and other documents not in their final form and not disclosed, circulated, or available to a quorum or a majority of those entities defined in RSA 91-A:1-a. Under NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §91-A:3, Minutes of nonpublic sessions if sealed by a recorded 2/3rd vote are exempt from release if the release of the information may adversely affect the reputation of any person other than a member of the body or agency itself or render the proposed action ineffective.

55.    Dean B. Eggert, What You Need to Know About Access to Public Records in New Hampshire (June 10, 2003), http://www.wadleighlaw.com/Articles/Municipal/access_to_public_records_in_nh.htm.

56.    Id.

57.    Id.

58.    Id.;NH Rev. Stat. Ann §91-A:4 (1977).

59.    Dean B. Eggert, What You Need to Know About Access to Public Records in New Hampshire (June 10, 2003), http://www.wadleighlaw.com/Articles/Municipal/access_to_public_records_in_nh.htm.

60.    Id.

61.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 91-A: 4(IV) (1977).

62.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 91-A: 4 (1997).

63.    Id.

64.    Id.

65.    NH Rev. Stat. Ann. §91-A:7 (1977)

66.    Id.

67.    Id.

68.    Murray, 913 A2d at 740

69.    Id.

70.    Id.

71.    Id. at 741

72.    Id.

73.    Id.at 739-740

74.    Id. at 740

75.    Id. at 739

76.    Id. at 740

77.    Id.

78.    Id.

79.    Id.

80.    Id. at 741-7142

81.    Id. at 741

82.    Id.

83.    Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820, 825 (1973).  

84.    Id.

85.    Citizens Comm’n on Human Rights v. FDA, 45 F.3d 1325, 1326 n.1 (9th Cir. 1995).

86.    Vaughn, 484 F.2d at 826.

87.    Murray, 913 A2d at 741.

88.    Curran v Dept of Justice , 813 F2d  473, 475 (1st Cir. 1987). Case involved the requested release of FBI documents on persons, events, and transactions associated with Iran.  FBI stated records exempt under FOIA exemption 7(a). The Court held that FBI agent’s affidavit fulfilled any appropriate requirement for definition and disclosure of records claimed exempt as investigatory records, notwithstanding inclusion of catchall clause in one paragraph of that affidavit.

89.    Id.

90.    Id.

91.    Id.

92.    Id. at 475-476.

93.    Murray, 913 A2d at 742

94.    Id.

95.    Id.

96.    Id.

97.    Id.

98.    Curran, 813 F.2d at 475

99.    Id.

100. Id.

101. Id.

102. Id.

103. Lodge, 118 NH at 576.

 

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