The Maryland ACLU says the state's highest court has agreed to take up a case that centers on whether citizens who file complaints against police are entitled to know the outcome.
The case centers on a Somerset County woman, Teleta Dashiell, who five years ago filed a complaint against a Maryland State Police trooper, who left a racial slur on her voicemail. She later received a letter saying her complaint was sustained and action would be taken, but was denied any further information.
The ACLU filed an appeal arguing the "blanket refusal to disclose any information" about its investigation of her complaint was "illegal and undermines trust with communities troopers are sworn to serve."
Police said state personnel laws and the state Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights prevented the release of any personnel records.
The Court of Special Appeals in October ruled for Dashiell, saying the lower court failed to review the documents in question and determine whether they were specifically exempt from disclosure. It also said citing the bill of rights was not applicable.
But its decision was not entirely favorable to Dashiell — the court agreed with the state police that the woman was "not the person who was investigated, and thus not a person [of] interest" under state law, the court said.
The state police appealed the decision to the state's highest court, with the ACLU joining the request.