Judge: Notre Dame police aren’t subject to open records law

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A judge in South Bend has ruled the University of Notre Dame’s police department isn't subject to Indiana’s open records laws, saying that is how the law has been understood for years and it would not be appropriate for the court to rewrite the statute.

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Steven Hostetler added the case might cause the Legislature to consider the issue, writing: “ESPN makes persuasive policy arguments.”

ESPN had argued that a police department with the power to arrest should be subject to public scrutiny. It filed a lawsuit Jan. 15 alleging the private school was violating Indiana’s public record laws by withholding police incident reports about possible campus crimes involving certain student-athletes. The lawsuit didn't specify what incident reports ESPN was seeking or which athletes may have been involved.

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