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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20176
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I was told by our local law enforcement secretary that we cannot

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I was told by our local law enforcement secretary that we cannot have a copy of the police report until the case is closed. I filled out a public record request form so I could get the report. Our house was broke into while we were home asleep two weeks ago, dogs scared them off, but it was only after significant damage to the entrance screen door and main door ($2500+). Our insurance company wants a report, we do have a case number, just no report. Are we going to be without a report forever? This case will never be solved and therefore it will stay open? Maybe my frustration is unfounded. Washington State, Lewis County.

Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. The secretary that you spoke to did not exactly correctly state when the police report will be ready and when you can then have a copy. When she said "case was closed" she means that the police have entered all the information that they have gathered and close it in terms of summarizing what they have in evidence, etc. There is no requirement that the case be solved, arrest made and prosecution undertaken for the police report to be prepared and releasable. Only that they officer/investigator who has the case has summarized the case and the status. What happens is if they later arrest someone or that they are prosecuted, the police report will be updated. But again, you will likely be able to receive the report in a few weeks to a month at most. You can provide the report number to the insurance company and many times the company has someone pick up the report for them. If not, they can wait until it is released, which will not be an infinite period, but merely a few weeks or so.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank You. This is unfamiliar territory for us. I know that the report contains no information at this time. It sounds like we should be patient and a month is a reasonable amount of time to expect a report to be filed. In the meantime I will let the insurance company handle it they way the need to.

You're welcome and it was unfortunate that perhaps the secretary could have stated the situation a little differently, but there should be a report in the not too distant future and your insurance company will be satisfied, for now, with the report/case number. Best of luck to you!