Voice of San Diego et al. v. Superior Court for the County of San Diego, No. S270557

Voice of San Diego et al. v. Superior Court for the County of San Diego, No. S270557

UPDATE: On Oct. 27, 2021 the California Supreme Court declined to grant review, leaving in place the lower court ruling.

Read FAC’s amicus letter in support of the petition for review
Read the news organizations’ petition for review

Court: California Supreme Court 

About the case: Voice of San Diego, KPBS Public Broadcasting and the San Diego Union-Tribune filed suit under the California Public Records Act when San Diego County officials denied their requests for information about COVID-19 community outbreak locations. After adverse rulings at the San Diego Superior Court and Fourth District Court of Appeal, the news organizations now seek review by the California Supreme Court. The case presents two important questions, described in the petition for review as:

1. May an expert opinion of possible endangerment, without factual support, clearly outweigh the public interest in disclosure of records relating to matters of grave importance under Government Code section 6255(a)? 
2. May a local agency, in light of an ongoing public health emergency, suspend its duties to the public under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”)? 

Our position: The California Supreme Court should grant review and reverse the lower court.

From the letter: “The Court should grant review in this case to preserve the integrity of the CPRA. In reviewing this case, the Court has the opportunity to remind public agencies that the right of access to information is a matter of law, not whim or unsubstantiated hunch. Even and especially in times of crisis, public agencies must uphold California’s commitment to open governance and the public’s right to know.”

Date filed: Aug. 27, 2021

More: FAC previously supported the San Diego news coalition’s efforts to seek high court intervention. Read related news coverage in Voice of San Diego, KPBS and the Mercury News.

Read FAC’s Aug. 27, 2021 amicus letter to the California Supreme Court.