The Indiana Supreme Court this week decided the police department at the University of Notre Dame is not a government body and not subject to open records requests.
The state appellate court ruled that Notre Dame's police force is a public agency subject to the public records law, but a bill heading to the governor's desk would shield private universities from releasing the same amount of records as public institutions.
Indiana's attorney general has thrown the state's influential weight behind a lawsuit seeking access to police records at Notre Dame, whose attorneys claim the private institution is exempt from the state public-records act. Sports network ESPN is trying to make Indiana the third state this year to declare private-college police reports open for public inspection.
The University of Notre Dame police department does not have to give ESPN access to police records about student athletes because it is not a public agency under the state’s open records law, a county judge ruled on Monday.