BayLegal demands that San Francisco Police Department comply with state law protecting domestic violence survivors

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On Tuesday, April 16th, BayLegal attorney Fawn Jade Korr and co-counsel Jeanne Finberg sent a letter to the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco City Attorney’s office demanding that the SFPD produce a plan to come into compliance with CA Family Code ยง 6228. This statute requires law enforcement agencies to produce copies of incident reports when requested by domestic violence survivors within 5 days of the request, in order to facilitate timely action on temporary restraining orders and better protect survivors. The law has been in effect for 20 years, and San Francisco remains one of a small number of outlier jurisdictions not in compliance.

Over the past year, BayLegal and other advocates have worked with SFPD to arrive at an amicable solution to the compliance issue, but with repeated delays, communication breakdowns, and no clear plan in sight, our family law attorneys have moved to spur the Department and City Attorney into action. They intend to file suit in San Francisco Superior Court if a clear compliance plan with reporting and monitoring conditions is not presented by April 29th. This is a necessary step to protect the safety of survivors: our own clients, and the nearly 70% of requesters according to the SFPD’s own statistics who are unrepresented litigants and whose access to incident reports is currently severely limited by the Department’s failure to comply with state law. Survivors cannot be made to wait any longer for basic procedural commitments to their safety.

Media coverage of this case: