A&A: Does CPRA Allow Photgraphing Disclosed Records?

Q:  Does the CPRA give one the right to take photo of disclosed records with smart phone camera or other similar device (assuming not historical doc or any issue of light damages etc.)?

A: I am not aware of any provision in the Public Records Act that affirmatively allows members of the public to photograph public records.  That said, I cannot think of any reason why the public would be prohibited from doing this.  If you are being prohibited from photographing a public record, you might want to ask the agency what authority it is basing its prohibition on, which will give you a starting point to analyze whether the prohibition is permissible or not.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner 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.  No attorney-client relationship has been formed by way of this response.

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