A&A: Records request denied due to “deliberative process privilege”

Q: My city is claiming “deliberative process privilege” in redacting the planning director appointment calendar. I’m wondering if there have been any successful challenges to the deliberative process privilege since Schwartznegger’s refusal to turn over appt calendars for two aides citing this privilege?

A: It has been argued, and a state appellate court has rejected, that Prop. 59 was intended to eliminate the deliberative process privilege. See Sutter’s Place Inc. v. Superior Court, 161 Cal. App. 4th 1370, 1382-83 (2008) (no evidence of intent on the part of voters to supersede, override or alter the operation of the deliberative process privilege).

As far as I am aware, there has been no additional courts to have ruled on the issue.

Bryan Cave LLP is general counsel for the First Amendment Coalition and responds to FAC hotline inquiries. In responding to these inquiries, we can give general information regarding open government and speech issues but cannot provide specific legal advice or representation.