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Department of Forensic Sciences

  ADFS Reports

PUBLIC RECORDS

Public records include the reports of all investigations conducted by ADFS (Alabama Code (1975) § 36-18-2) and records reasonably necessary to record the business and activities required to be done or carried on by ADFS so that the status and condition of such business and activities can be known by the citizens of the State of Alabama. Stone v. Consolidated Pub. Co., 404 So.2d 678, 681 (Ala., 1981). Requests for reports of investigations conducted by ADFS shall be made via the ADFS Request for Certified Copy Form. These certified copy of reports requests are handled by the Certified Request Section at ADFS Headquarters. The fee for a certified copy of a report is ten dollars ($10.00). A certified copy will not be issued until the ADFS case is complete.

The above referenced Stone case does, however, provide a non-statutory exception to § 36-18-2, stating that documents and information, such as the ADFS case reports, are not public if a pending criminal investigation is ongoing. Therefore, before a certified copy of a case report is sent to a requestor, a written authorization must be received from the appropriate District Attorney/Prosecuting Authority or Court of jurisdiction affirming there is no pending criminal investigation ongoing.

Requests for other ADFS public records (pursuant to Alabama Code (1975) § 36-12-40) must be made to the ADFS Legal Office and records will be made available for inspection upon appointment at the applicable ADFS laboratory or medical examiners’ facility. See also State v. Isbell, 985 So.2d 446, 452 (Ala., 2007). Further, case specific documentation/information/evidence that are not expressly specified as public records are only available for production pursuant the provisions of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 16.1(d), the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 45, or pursuant to a court order of competent jurisdiction. These documents include, but are not limited to, photos, worksheets, and notes.