Out-of-state california public records act requests

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Generally, agencies can only charge for the direct costs of copying and mailing records; they cannot charge for the time it took to locate or review them. There are two exceptions to this general rule. First, if complying with your request requires them to engage in computer programming or data extraction, it may be able to charge for that. And it is not at all clear yet what counts as programming, so some agencies may try to improperly charge you for this, sometimes asking for thousands of dollars to comply with your request. Second, counties — but not cities, districts, or the state — may be able to impose some additional charges if their supervisors have authorized them to.

This is not particularly common. If the government wrongly fails to comply with the Public Records Act you can sue it in California superior court to enforce your request. And sometimes this is the only way you can get the government to follow the law — to provide records they have to provide, to charge only allowable fees, or sometimes even to respond to your request.

This means that lawyers may be willing to sue to enforce your request without charging you anything, or at a reduced rate. If you have followed the steps in this guide and you think the government is violating the law, you should consider contacting a lawyer who handles public records suits. This violates both the PRA and the First Amendment; once the government releases records under the Public Records Act, those records are public, and you can do whatever you want with them.


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If the agency suggests otherwise, it is worth contacting the agency to tell them that you consider the records to be public just to make sure there is no confusion before you release them. Here are some of the best resources on the web about the California Public Records Act. They are much longer and contain much more detail about what the government can and cannot withhold:. Excellent post. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck. This is the right blog for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you not that I personally would want to…HaHa.

You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just great! Your email address will not be published. Decide what information and records you really want to request. Try to figure out what agency has those records. Optional — try to figure out whether they have to give you the records you want. Write the request. A video of the September City Council meeting.

Cpra primer

Records showing what happened at the September City Council meeting. Of course, you can also make both types of requests in the same letter. Send the request. Wait for a response. Review the response. You will generally get one of three types of responses: They need more time. If you are requesting a lot of records, or the request requires the agency to consult with other departments, the law allows the government to give itself an extra 14 days to tell you what if anything it will provide. This is supposed to happen only in unusual cases, but some agencies seem to do it quite often. They will provide the records or some of them.

Sometimes they will even send them along with the response.