How to navigate FAC’s public records resources
Welcome to FAC’s Public Records homepage. The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is the key law for accessing public records from both local governments and state agencies in California (but excluding the state Legislature and the courts, which are subject to separate access rules). The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the record-access law for all executive branch and independent agencies of the federal government.
On this page you will find links to all of our resources for the CPRA, including FAC’s CPRA Primer; the text of the CPRA, and a template for a CPRA request letter for use in requesting public records. You’ll also find CPRA questions answered by our attorneys and information on other CA access laws, local “Sunshine” “ordinances, and accessing court records.
Each of the links in the menu below opens a targeted search of our Asked & Answered database to help you quickly find authoritative answers provided by FAC attorneys to questions submitted by people like you. This list does not exhaust the Asked & Answered resource, consisting of over 1,000 questions and answers. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, use the search box on the Asked & Answered homepage.
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is the Freedom of Information law for California. It provides a right of access to records in the possession of state and local governments (but excluding the state Legislature and the courts). The CPRA Essentials video is a great introduction for anyone looking to access government records and an excellent refresher for journalists and government FAC General Counsel. (37:00 minutes)Click here to download audio podcasts (Mp3) in Chinese/ 用中文: #1 Essentials of the CPRA audio — Chinese Language . #2 Essentials of the CPRA audio – Chinese Language and Spanish/Español:Essentials of the CPRA – Espanol
California Court records are generally public records, yet are exempted from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. Familiarize yourself with the relevant statutes and case law to access court records in California with this video, Accessing California Court Records. Presented by Duffy Carolan, a partner of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP’s San Francisco office and FAC Board Member. (37:00 minutes)Click here to download audio podcasts (Mp3) in Chinese/ 用中文 #1 Access to Courts — Chinese Language . #2 Access to Courts – Chinese Language and Spanish/Español:Judiciales – Accessing Court Documents- Spanish language