(Super. Ct. No. 06CS01447)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nicholson , Acting P. J.
Curtis v. Bureau of Firearms
California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.
Plaintiff David Scott Curtis petitioned for a writ of mandate to compel the Department of Justice (the Department) to provide copies of any records it had concerning him and two firearms he had once possessed. The trial court dismissed the petition as moot, as the Department had already provided him with a firearm history that listed the firearms the Department's records noted he had purchased.
Plaintiff appeals, claiming he was entitled to much more information from the Department under various provisions of the Penal Code. We affirm the judgment. The petition was moot to the extent it sought a firearms history which the Department had already provided, and it was otherwise premature by seeking information which plaintiff had first not requested directly from the Department.
Plaintiff is an inmate incarcerated at California State Prison, Solano. He was convicted of second degree murder in 1993 and is serving a sentence of 19 years to life.
By letter dated December 26, 2005, plaintiff informed the Department he was attempting to locate information on a firearm he had once owned. The gun, a .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun, was in his pickup when, in 1991, the pickup was stolen. Plaintiff reported the incident and the lost firearm to the Riverside Police Department. Police later recovered the pickup but not the gun. In his 2005 letter to the Department, plaintiff asked how he could obtain "any information related to this handgun," such as its serial number, whether it had ever been found, where it was found, and if it had been destroyed after it was found.
In response, the Department of Justice provided plaintiff with instructions on how he could ask the Department's Firearms Division to search its records for a firearms history. The Department did not explain the scope of a firearms history search. Plaintiff complied with these instructions, and by letter dated February 6, 2006, formally requested a "personal firearm history search."
By September 2006, plaintiff had not received any response from the Department's Firearms Division to his request. He filed a petition for writ of mandate against the Firearms Division and its director to compel the Firearms Division to respond.*fn1 He alleged the possible existence of the stolen .25-caliber handgun. He also alleged the existence of another gun, a .30-30 rifle that was confiscated from him by the Riverside Police Department in 1991 when he was arrested for the murder for which he is now incarcerated. He alleged the rifle had been stored in an evidence locker with the Riverside County District Attorney. He claimed he had not received a receipt documenting the rifle's storage from the district attorney.
In his petition, plaintiff asserted the Firearms Division had violated his rights under the state Information Practices Act of 1977 (Civ. Code, § 1798 et seq.) (the IPA) to receive copies of his firearms history, documents that qualified as personal records under the IPA. He also claimed he was entitled to examine these records pursuant to Penal Code sections 13321 and 13323, statutes that provide access to local summary criminal histories maintained by a local criminal justice agency. (See Pen. Code, § 13320 et seq.) He asked the court to compel the Firearms Division to provide him "access to personal records; his firearm history."
Plaintiff also prayed for an award of $100 in damages for the Firearms Division's failure to comply with the IPA. He did not allege filing a claim for damages with the state pursuant to the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, § ...