Asked & Answered

A&A: Denied access to letters of complaint regarding Airbnb rentals

Q: My local Neighborhood Council  put forth a motion in the Urban Design and Preservation Committee to ban short term rentals. Luckily one concerned neighbor caught it and individually contacted 100 Airbnb hosts, 50 of whom showed up at the Council meeting that night.  The Council referenced a complaint letter but wouldn’t show it to […]

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A&A: School denies access to all info about coach fired amid rumors players’ were abused.

Q: I cover school sports for the local newspaper and recently a coach was fired amid rumors that he/she was abusive toward players. Apparently the schools  feel no obligation to answer questions on the troubling situation. When asked, they invoke the phrase “personnel matter” like a talisman, and won’t say anything beyond either “the coach […]

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A&A: Minutes of City Council meetings don’t tell whole story

Q: A group of cizens allege the city is wrongly leaving out copies of correspondence the city received related to items on its agenda and powerpoint presentations related to agenda items. The council offers a limited number of copies of this information at the city clerk’s desk on the night of the meeting but it […]

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A&A: Does the CPRA cover private entities that do work for government?

 Q: I am a reporter  working on a story about a recent dog shooting by a police officer although animal control officers say they had the situation under control.  Reports were filed by both Humane Society animal control officers on  the scene when the dog was tasered and shot by the officer.  I understand one […]

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A&A: Can a news photographer be threatened with arrest while covering a protest?

Q: As a newspaper photographer, I was covering a protest over Cal Trans clearing trees alongside the Highway just outside of town.   Then a CHP officer drove up and approached me saying ”you have to leave the area.” Then I asked the officer if I could walk just to the side and take a […]

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A&A: Can I be charged fees for downloading court records posted online?

Q: Riverside Superior Court changes fees to search and acquire court records through its website. This wasn’t always the case. Several years ago this service was provided for free, and that seems to still be the case in other counties. For the past three budget years, these fees have meant additional annual revenue for the […]

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A&A: Do legal fees count under pending litigation CPRA exemption?

Q: My records request for the documents showing how much money the county has spent on a current and ongoing lawsuit.   The County states that the information revealing the total money spent is privileged because the case is in active litigation. It would appear to me that no privileged information concerning the case would be […]

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A&A: When should “anticipated litigation” be agendized?

Q: In 2010 our City Council was contacted BY the IRS about a series of Build America Bonds that the City had received. The IRS felt that the money was spent improperly (by spending on acquiring an undeveloped parcel related to an unrelated legal settlement rather than by initiating a ”shovel ready” project). The IRS […]

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A&A: District denies teacher access to defaming emails

Q: As a school district employee, what are my rights regarding access to emails received by the district from an outside agency regarding me?  It involves accusations and I feel I have a right to know exactly what the allegations are. The school district has been slow to even acknowledge my request to see and […]

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A&A: Rights threatened by trade associations for voicing opposition to bill they favor

Q: At the CA Legislature, I introduced myself as a member of of two realtor associations before speaking out in opposition to a bill under discussion. The associations are in favor of the measure, which is in direct violation of our mission statement to protect private property rights. The CEO of one group sent me […]

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