Asked & Answered

A&A: Does the CA legislature have an open meeting law?

Q: It seems like neither the Brown Act nor Bagley-Keene applies to the CA legislature. What law governs the process through which the CA 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 […]

Continue Reading →

A&A: Public Agency claims investigation files are exempt PRA

Q: I filed a complaint alleging the violation of the corporate practice of medicine by a large California Corporation. The complaint was filed with the Medical Board of California. After many months I was informed the case was closed. I asked for access to their files of the investigation and was informed that it was exempt […]

Continue Reading →

A&A: Police refuse to release names of individuals who bought stolen laptop

Q: My laptop was taken in a burglary.  When the police located it, it had been bought and sold twice people who had it innocently bought it off Craig’s List. Those people are listed as “witness” on the police report. Police refuse to identify them to me because 1) they don’t release witness identities 2) release their […]

Continue Reading →

A&A: New rules by city council restrict free speech

Q: Several months ago the city council majority changed the public comments procedure to make it more difficult for all that wanted to make comments to do so. At a recent council meeting, they changed the ordinance regarding conduct during city council meetings, and more specifically the conduct while addressing the council. For example, if the mayor, in […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →