A&A: Denied request for identities of homicide victims four years after the crime

Q: I have a question about police records you may be able to help with. I’m trying to verify the identities of some homicide victims, four years after the crime. I’ve asked for the name and date of birth of the victims, but the department says they may not release the info. Do you know […]

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A&A: Can I access recordings made by the LA Dept. of Animal Services?

Q: Does a request for public records of public hearings of department of Animal Services include tape recordings of hearing made by hearing examiner? A: As you may know, under the Public Records Act, public records — which include “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or […]

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A&A: How can I stop city from violating Brown Act during budget meetings?

Q: The city is having a budget meeting. The printed budget is over 500 pages and is divided into department sections. The Mayor prohibits public comment by department, instead he only permits public comment at the end of each day’s meetings, and then the public is limited to three minutes. I believe this is a Brown […]

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A&A: Facebook community target of a self-proclaimed “troll army”

Q: I am aware that this may not be a First Amendment issue due to the fact that it concerns private citizens and a privately-held company. However, I would welcome any help you may be able to give me. I belonged to a Facebook community that became a target of a self-proclaimed “troll army” which […]

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A&A: CHP said I could view dashboard video, but all my requests have been denied

Q: What can I do if CHP does not honor my right to see public records? A CHP officer crashed near me while I was pulled over (engine off) on the shoulder of a highway in California. He seemed under the influence of something and wrote me a simple speeding ticket, although I was parked […]

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Peter Scheer & Santa Rosa PD's Paul Gullixson

FAC joins with Santa Rosa Press Democrat to host Open Government candidates’ forum

FAC headed north this week to co-host an Open Government Candidates’ Forum with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The event provided a unique opportunity for members of the community, which a year earlier was rocked by the tragic shooting death of Andy Lopez, 13, by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy, to hear candidates for city council answer tough questions on government openness […]

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A&A: Taping of public charter school meetings curtailed by corporate owners

Q: I am  the parent of a child attending a public charter school. About a year ago when transparency appeared to be an issue, parents started to videotape school board meetings.  Currently two parents videotape the  board meetings using handheld cameras. No disturbance is made. Tapes are not edited and are posted on a Facebook page that is open […]

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A&A: Is there an open meeting law that covers the CA legislature?

Q: It seems like neither the Brown Act nor Bagley-Keene applies to the California legislature. What law governs the process through which the state legislature, including committees, considers laws and informs the public of opportunity to comment at hearings. And are there laws that prevent a committee for adding a last-minute amendment (without notice) to a bill that has […]

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A&A: Did Prop. 42 eliminate fees for public records?

Q: I’m trying to find out whether Prop 42 now requires local agencies to provide free access to public records or whether they are still allowed to charge for copies. Thank you, A: I do not read Prop. 42 as prohibiting public agencies from charging a reasonable fee to cover the direct cost of duplication […]

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A&A: Help! Being sued For Yelp! Review

Q: I used a company here in Illinois on two occasions and was left with a far less than satisfactory experience both times. As such, I took to yelp! to leave my feedback. After posting the honest review, my attorney was contacted and informed that I am being sued for defamation. My simple review sticks the […]

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