Wishnefsky v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, 110819 PACCA, 598 C.D. 2019

Docket Nº:598 C.D. 2019
Opinion Judge:P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge
Party Name:Bruce L. Wishnefsky, Petitioner v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Respondent
Judge Panel:BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge HONORABLE CHRISTINE FIZZANO CANNON, Judge
Case Date:November 08, 2019
Court:Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Bruce L. Wishnefsky, Petitioner

v.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Respondent

No. 598 C.D. 2019

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

November 8, 2019

OPINION NOT REPORTED

Submitted: September 20, 2019

BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge HONORABLE CHRISTINE FIZZANO CANNON, Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge

Bruce L. Wishnefsky (Wishnefsky) petitions, pro se, for review of a final determination (Determination) of the Office of Open Records (OOR), issued April 16, 2019, denying Wishnefsky's request for information pursuant to the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL).1 For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

On February 8, 2019, Wishnefsky, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Laurel Highlands, submitted a RTKL request with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (Department), seeking the following information: [A]ny contract, policy, procedure, administrative manual, or similar record that discusses the "Ref:" printed on some documents mailed to the P.O. Box 33028 in St. Petersburg, FL 33733, and followed by a six[-]digit number, in any way, including, but not limited to, whether the decision to print or not print the "Ref:" and [six][-]digit number on the document given to the inmate[] is made by Smart Communications or [the Department].

(Certified Record (C.R.), Item No. 1 at 5.) On February 11, 2019, the Department attempted2 to supply Wishnefsky with an interim response extending its time for providing a final response pursuant to Section 902 of the RTKL, 65 P.S. § 67.902.3Thereafter, on March 5, 2019, the Department sent to Wishnefsky its final determination, which provides, in relevant part: Your request for "any contract, policy, procedure, administrative manual, or similar record" pertaining to the Reference ID assigned to inmate mail is denied for the following reason:

The record(s) that you requested do not currently exist. . . .

While "any contract, policy, procedure, administrative manual, or similar record" does not exist, we can provide an explanation of the Reference ID assigned to inmate mail, which is as follows:

Smart Communications assigns a Reference ID to each piece of inmate mail when it is scanned into the electronic system. This ID is used to locate the mail in the electronic system and for IT purposes. The Reference ID number is printed on the bottom of each page of printed mail for grievance purposes. It is easier to track down a piece of mail in the electronic system with the reference ID rather than a description of the mail in question. Inmates can include the Reference ID number on their grievances pertaining to mail so the grievance office[r]s know exactly which piece of mail they are grieving.

(C.R., Item No. 3, Ex. C.)

On March 22, 2019, Wishnefsky appealed the Department's denial of his RTKL request to the OOR pursuant to Section 1101(a)(1) of the RTKL, 65...

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