HomeNewsCrime & CourtsThe Augusta Press files suit over access to domestic violence call at...

The Augusta Press files suit over access to domestic violence call at prosecutor’s home

Author

Date

The Augusta Press is suing the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department over its refusal to turn over any information concerning the call for sheriff officers to respond to possible domestic violence at the home of the second in command of the Richmond County Solicitor’s office.

On May 3, a friend of the Chief Assistant Solicitor Geoffrey Alls’ family called 911 after hearing over the phone yelling and sounds of someone being hit, according to the 911 call. She had been on the phone with Alls’ wife until the call abruptly ended. Alls was not arrested that day, but his now-estranged wife obtained a temporary order of protection based on allegations of his violence that day.

MORE: 911 calls of domestic violence at prosecutor’s Augusta home released

The Augusta Press asked for a copy of the incident report and for the responding officers’ body cam video from the May 3 call, but the request was rejected. The Richmond County Sheriff Office’s public information officer responded that the incident report and everything related to the call was not subject to the state’s Open Records Act. The sheriff’s PIO officer cited the statute requiring all law enforcement agencies to file specific report forms for every domestic violence call. The required reports must be filed with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, even when no arrest is made although those reports are considered for statistical purpose only and not subject to the Open Records Act.

The Augusta Press’ attorney David Hudson disagreed with the sheriff’s analysis of the law. On May 20, The newspaper filed a formal request under the Open Records Act asking again for the information about the Alls’ call. The department’s attorney told Hudson the department’s position hasn’t changed.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday, June 21, in Richmond County Superior Court seeks a judge’s ruling that the incident report and body cam video for the sheriff’s call to Alls’ home should be released under the state’s Open Records Act.

Alls, who is currently on administrative leave, is the second person in charge of the office responsible for prosecuting the majority of domestic violence cases in Richmond County.

The lawsuit, which represents only one side of the legal dispute, also seeks a $1,000 penalty to be imposed for violation of the Open Records Act and attorney fees.

Sandy Hodson is a staff reporter covering courts for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected]. 

Recent posts

Recent comments

Juliann McCraney on Column: Faith: Ups and downs
Robert Schloesser on Saga with Gold Cross EMS continues
Thomas Yarbrough on Garnett Johnson: In his own words
Tedd Antonacci on OPINION: Letter to the editor
Charmain Brackett on Reoccurring Members
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Trudy Edwards on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Gay Wright on Reoccurring Members
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Russell Smeak on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Thomas Plowden on Short Getaways: Edisto Beach
Charmain Brackett on Man struck by train Thursday
Thomas Yarbrough on Man struck by train Thursday
Tedd Antonacci on Man struck by train Thursday
Dennis Perry on FAITH: Our Only Hope
Robert Turbyfill on Column: Serene18 – take two
Leonard Zimmerman Jr on In The Kitchen With Vera: Oh Honey
Tedd Antonacci on Bomb threat suspect in custody
Frank Bush on FAITH: A Great Lady
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: A Great Lady
Robert Green on Kemp signs tax cut bill
Dan Barnett on FAITH: The Turtle
William Speer on Whither Ukraine?
Sherri Jones Rivers on FAITH: The Turtle
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: The Turtle
Doug Herman on Whither Ukraine?
Phillip Williams on Column: Electing judges
John Mulherin on Column: Electing judges
Sarah Scott on Column: Electing judges
Thomas Yarbrough on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Bill Lesshafft on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Amanda Main on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Tedd Antonacci on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Rev. Bill Harrell on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Jackie VOSS on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Penny Danner on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Rabbi David Sirull on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Elizabeth Ristroph on Michael Meyers: The Law Allows It
Phillip Williams on Michael Meyers: The Law Allows It
Debbie Reddin Van Tuyll on For America, a free press is not optional
Phillip Williams on Opinion: Michael Meyer