January 12, 2015 Update

We hope all had an enjoyable holiday and new years. Here are a few updates to get your week going:

  • As we wrote about previously, a Kohl's department store in the city of Irvine, California refused to redeem a "merchandise credit" gift card despite the relatively clear provision of Cal. Civ. Code § 1749.5(b)(2) that provides "any gift certificate with a cash value of less than ten dollars ($10) is redeemable in cash for its cash value." After probing the legally unsound nature of the store policy purported by the manager of this Kohl's department store, Kohl's director of corporate law provided clarification, indicating the store manager was improperly trained. After sending a follow-up letter to Kohl's, a full refund in form of a check was received. We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation afforded to us by Kohl's director of corporate law and anticipate they will continue to educate their staff regarding Cal. Civ. Code § 1749.5. (Source Documents)
  • Some may have taken notice to our launch of a so-called "Communications Campaign" which enables "individuals to submit recommendations for future public records requests relating to information, the release of which would be conducive to the law abiding scanner enthusiast." In furtherance of this campaign, we have enable both a request/recommendation form and request log to allow individuals to submit and track requests for public records from various law enforcement or public safety agencies. As  part of our campaign, we have already obtained and released the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department's Law Enforcement Communications Handbook which can be accessed directly here or through our original article here and follow-up article here. Currently being processed is a request for five distinct sets of information sent to the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department on December 29, 2014. Thus far, we have received correspondence from Phebe W. Chu, Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Bernardino, outlining the agencies "intention to comply with" our request and requesting an additional ten (10) days to respond pursuant to Cal. Gov. Code § 6253(c). With this in mind, our office expect a responsive determination by January 18th, 2015, at which point we will determine whether further processing, review, reconsideration, or litigation is necessary. (Source Documents)
  • Our October 6, 2014 Update described the curious story of Rez Baluchi's Hydro Pod and purportedly self-propelled trip from Florida to Bermuda. While we planned a detailed article to accompany our release of records requested from the U.S. Coast Guard pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, we have been unable to do so. Unfortunately, the long holidays and related family emergencies have rendered this vision untenable. Accordingly, we are releasing all records obtained from our FOIA request regarding Rez Baluchi. This information may be accessed here or in the source documents folder. (Source Documents)

As always, check back often for updates! If you have any ideas or suggestions feel free to leave them below or contact us directly.