Law Enforcement Exemptions

A&A: Can I access driver ID’s from traffic-stop police reports?

Q: I am working on a story about traffic stops and would like to request the city’s police department for records related to about 10 incidents involving drivers with suspended licenses (I have the incident numbers). But before I make my request: Can the police department deny me accessing the name, address or other fields in […]

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A&A: Are school district’s attorney fees public records?

Q: I would like to know if a detail report of legal counsel’s fees charged to the district is a public record.  The attorney has told the district administrator that his invoices are not public records. A: The California Public Records act provides access to any “writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s […]

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Public Comment

A&A: Can the City Council ban non-disruptive clapping by audience members?

Q:  I am requesting help re the “crime” of clapping at a City Council Meeting. I’m referring to clapping that is not substantially disruptive. The City Council has started to interpret a clause of the Policies and Procedures Manual (Section 4.4 Disruptive Conduct) to disallow clapping of any sort after a Public Forum speaker has spoken […]

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Minutes of Meeting

A&A: Does the Brown Act require meeting minutes?

Q: The High School District board stopped taking minutes at their meetings? Can they do that under the Brown Act? A: The Brown Act is silent on legislative bodies’ duties with respect to taking notes or keeping minutes of meetings.  Typically, such requirements would be found in a legislative body’s bylaws, or possibly an ordinance that […]

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Law Enforcement Exemptions

A&A: Can I be denied access to files on decades-old, closed murder case?

Q: I am researching a decades-old murder.  I have spoken with the DA’s Chief Inspector about the case and he is unwilling to share any information with me whatsoever. Therefore, my only real recourse is to attempt to secure relevant files, videos, pictures, coroner’s report, police report, and notes the information via a FOIA request. That having been […]

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A&A:What is the CPRA rule regarding retention of emails?

Q: As far as the CPRA is concerned, I filed for any emails concerning media policy and the district told me that emails are only archived for four years. Is that legal? Is there a statute of limitations on how far back public agencies must keep emails on file? A: The Public Records Act is not […]

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CPRA redactions

A&A: CPRA request filled, but witnesses names were redacted

Q: Six months ago I filed a CPRA request to view my case file and receive the information which is to be provided to victims of crimes. I received files in which the “witness” names were redacted but no written notification as to why the names were redacted or what I might be able to […]

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CPRA time limits

A&A: CPRA has time limits on public document’s is availability?

Q: I’m involved in a research project on the history of the city in which I live. To ensure the accuracy of my research, I have requested general information from the police department on several criminal cases from the 1970s and ’80s. This information pertains to the who, what, when, where, etc. of the cases I’m […]

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CPRA - CA Public Records Act

A&A: Can I Use the CPRA to access investigative files?

Q: I am trying to get investigative records from California’s Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Department of Justice for a complaint I am lodging against a former employer. How do I go about submitting such a request? A: Investigatory records maintained by a law enforcement agency are generally exempt from disclosure, Gov’t Code section 6254(f), […]

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Brown Act - CA Open Meetings Law

A&A: Has the Brown Act changed to allow votes on items not on agenda?

Q: At its last meeting, City Council members were told by the city attorney that the city no longer has to abide by some of the provisions of the Brown Act. He was citing the city’s ability to vote on an issue that was not on the agenda, telling them it was OK.  Has the Brown Act […]

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