BRUCE B. WILLIAMS, Appellant (Plaintiff),
SCOTT MATHENY, as Campbell County Sheriff, Appellee (Defendant).
from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John
R. Perry, Judge
Representing Appellant: Pro se.
Representing Appellee: Carol Seeger, Campbell County
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, and KAUTZ, JJ., and CRANFILL,
CRANFILL, District Judge.
Mr. Williams submitted a Public Records Request to the
Campbell County Sheriff's office requesting a list of the
"weapons and or offensive/defensive implements carried
on the persons of any officers" involved with the
killing of Niki Jo Burtsfield as well as "implements
normally carried in an officer[']s vehicle." The
Sheriff's office timely responded. Mr. Williams believed
he was not provided all of the documents he requested, and
made further inquiry. After some additional discussion
between Mr. Williams and the Sheriff's office, Mr.
Williams filed a "Petition for Reasonable Response
Pursuant to § 16-4-202(b) & (c)." The district
court granted summary judgment for the defendant, Scott
Matheny, as Campbell County Sheriff. Mr. Williams appeals,
requesting that he be allowed to physically inspect the
original records. He raises several arguments for the first
time on appeal, which we do not consider. Because the issues
are moot, we affirm.
Mr. Williams states the following issues on appeal verbatim:
1. Must the public accept the statement that there are no
more documents responsive to a [public records request] if
the government entity has no method to physically show the
likelihood that they are telling the truth?
2. Does W.S. 16-4-202(a) when it says ". . . reasonably
necessary for the protection of the records and the
prevention of unnecessary interference with the regular
discharge of the duties . . ." allow the official
custodian to keep public records completely physically
isolated from the public?
3. Does W.S. 16-4 (sic) allow the custodian of records to
require that ". . . request must be an identifiable
record that exists in physical form . . ." or similar
4. There is no concept in W.S. 16-4 (sic) that requires me to
access public records using only Public Records Requests
forms/paper requests and getting a copy of the record.
Court restates the issue as follows:
the district court properly determine Mr. Williams'
complaint was moot, dismissing the complaint after the
Sheriff moved for summary judgment?
On September 22, 2015, Mr. Williams submitted a public
records request to the Campbell County Sheriff's office
(Sheriff's office). Mr. Williams requested:
[A] list of the weapons and or offensive/defensive implements
carried on the persons of any officers at the scene and
involved with the situation which resulted in the killing of
Niki Jo Burtsfield.
This is also a request for a list of the weapons and or
offensive/defensive implements normally carried in an
officer[']s vehicle on the date of the killing of Niki Jo
The Sheriff's office timely responded with the
"Annual Patrol Equipment Inventory" of each of the
officers involved; Deputies Jeff Mooney, Murel Brink, Ed
Holden, Brittany Van Zee, and Corporal Scott
Appley. Mr. Williams believed the equipment
inventory to be responsive only to the first half of his
request, and he waited for the rest of the information.
On Friday, October 23, 2015, Mr. Williams returned to the
Sheriff's office and verbally requested a list of the
items carried on the officers' person. Mr. Williams was
provided with General Order 302 (G.O. 302), which is an
equipment inventory from the Campbell County Sheriff's
Office Policy and Procedure Manual.
The Deputy Campbell County Attorney assigned to assist with
legal issues of the Sheriff's department, learned that
the officers' weapons were purchased personally, and that
the make, model and serial number were on the bi-annual
qualification sheets of each officer. This information was
provided to Mr. Williams.
On October 29, 2015, Mr. Williams filed a "Petition for
Reasonable Response Pursuant to § 16-4-202(b) &
(c)" in district court, regarding his request to the
Sheriff's office. He requested that the Sheriff or his
"appointed representative do one of the following:"
A. Give me a copy of whatever they have that would answer
what I have ...