Legal aid group threatens to sue SFPD over delays in domestic-abuse reports

Bay Area Legal Aid is threatening to sue to compel the San Francisco Police Department to provide timely copies of incident reports to victims of domestic violence, as mandated by state law.

News Story (California)

Dominic Fracassa
San Francisco Chronicle
April 16, 2019

Tags: Domestic Violence

Organizations mentioned/involved: Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco)


A 20-year-old state law requires police departments to hand over copies of incident reports to domestic-assault victims or their attorneys no later than five days after a request is made. If police can show why a report isn’t immediately available, they can have up to 10 days.

BayLegal staff attorney Fawn Jade Korr said her office has seen delays ranging from 40 days to 128 days, and in some cases SFPD has improperly denied victims access to the records.

Korr said the organization has tried and failed several times to work with the Police Department to get the city to comply with state law. San Francisco, she said, is “an outlier” among California cities in its struggles to meet the five- or 10-day deadlines for providing reports.