Search Results for: 6253(b) fees

A&A: Required to pay research fee for building permit search

Q: I requested access to a building permit from 1973.  Our building department told me I  had to pay $55 for building research fee to cover ”staff time.” Copies, if asked for, are an additional 25 cents per page, but I guess copying fee of that amount is borderline legitimate. They have been charging this since at least 1995. I personally know at least 25 people who paid that fee over the years. I wonder

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A&A:City wants me to pay to see report on fire at my house

Q: I just requested an incident report from the Fire Department relating to a fire at my property. They wanted to charge me $16 just to view the record, and said that they had been authorized to do so by the City Council.  Is this legal?  GovC 6253(b) authorizes charges “… of fees covering direct costs of duplication, or a statutory fee if applicable.”  Does a city council resolution and ordinance authorizing the $16 fee

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A&A: Is it legal to charge fees for viewing a transcript?

Q: My organization is being charged a fee to view parole hearing transcripts–not copy; simply view. We are also told we will be charged to view the complete parole board’s response to a public hearing. We would like an opinion on the legality of this policy A: It sounds like you know that under the Public Records Act, “[p]ublic records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or

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A&A: Charged a fee for viewing documents? Is that legal?

My non-profit organization is being charged a fee to view parole hearing transcripts–not copy, simply view. We also have been told we will be charged to view the Parole Board’s response to a public hearing. We would like an opinion on the legality of this policy A: Under the Public Records Act, “[p]ublic records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency and every person has

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Acceptable fees for public records

Acceptable fees for public records Q: I live in a County Waterworks District. When I have asked for information in regards to the operation of the District, The County tells me the District will be charged for the time it takes to provide the information. The request is for 10 pages or less of information. I have offered to pay for the actual copying. I was told the District would be billed 75.00+ for staff

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A&A: How can my records request meet deadline if staff assigned is on vacation?

  Q: I made a Public Records Request and received confirmation, but the attorney wrote that my request for is too complex to release now. I sent a reply and learned that the attorney left on vacation for a week. I don’t think there’s an I’m-on-vacation exception in the CPRA. What do I do now? A: The PRA sets forth certain clear requirements with respect to timing of disclosure, and agencies should not be permitted to simply disregard them.

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A&A: City misses CPRA request deadlines “due to staff vacancies”?

Q: My friend and I first requested financial records for two affordable housing projects receiving government subsidies on August 19. The City responded on August 27 informing us that due to staff vacancies they could not fulfill our request, and that they would provide a status update by October 1. On September 4, we responded to the City via email, requesting that we be given access to the subject records or copies of these records by September

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A&A: Request for advisory committee’s documents denied

Q: I want to get copies of documents from a local planning group (elected advisory body under the City’s Dept. of Planning and Land Use). The chair of the committee has sent members an email  explaining that they should each bring the documents they possess for me to read while the meeting is in session, but claiming copies needn’t be provided.  What do I do? A: As it sounds like you are aware, under the

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A&A: University fails to make good faith effort to respond to records request

Q: I was laid off by the University of California this fall.  I subsequently submitted two CPRA requests regarding funding sources for my position. I requested that I be told if this information was to be withheld, but I was told that I had a right to this information. However, it has been three to four months with no result. I caught the office lying to me last month. It promised production of documents but

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A&A:Third time no charm: University denies documents, offers no explanation

Q: The university where I work denied a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request that involved analysis of information that provided justification for a university policy.  After the denial I refined my letter to request specific documents. However, they haven’t responded at to my second request, or to a follow up after ten working days had elapsed. A: Just to clarify, FOIA, or the Freedom of Information Act, refers to the federal law pertaining to disclosure

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Duplication fees for non-paper records

Duplication fees for non-paper records Q: Our School District Board/Superintendent is charging for labor costs of making a CD copy of each monthly/special board meeting. I understand that the Cal. Gov\’t. Code Section 6253(b) indicates that such charges (i.e., labor costs for recording the CD copy) is not permitted. I have been round and round with the Board/Superintendent about these excessive charges for the past year. They say that the District Counsel has supported them

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Waived copy fees

Waived copy fees Q: May the state agency waive copying fees for documents sent to me; I can’t find this in the CPRA. Doing this there is no record of the number of documents I received other than what I have in my possession. Additionally, I asked to inspect and review manuals – it’s not possible for a manual to fit in this box. A previous CPRA request made by me to this agency was

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A&A: Does city’s “fee schedule” for public records violate CPRA?

Q: A media partner of ours reported that a municipality has adopted a “schedule of charges” for public records requests. The board voted that there will be a $25 administrative fee per request. The number of pages requested will generate additional fees. The first 10 pages of records will cost $1 per page and each additional page up to 50 pages will cost 25 cents per page. Requests that exceed 50 pages will be provided

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A&A: Fee for email copies same as paper copies?

Q: I filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The investigation is now complete, and I have requested a copy of the complete file.  The DFEH district administrator responded stating cost of 10 cents per page plus postage needs to be paid before I can receive file copy.  I requested to have it sent by email instead to avoid  fee, but DFEH insist charging cost per page even if sent

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A&A: Agency’s proposed fees for producing electronic records–$2,000!

Q: I received a cost breakdown from a California state agency, which proposes to charge me more than $2,000 to produce what is essentially a list of names. Much of the cost involves redaction. Initially, the cost was presented to me as “programming costs,” which are allowed for electronic records, but their cost breakdown covers mostly staff time for a massive redaction effort. Could I  get advice on whether they are abiding by the Public

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A&A: Can a fee be charged for requesting public documents held in storage?

Q: I recently submitted a Public Records Act request in my city.  I have just been told that I will be charged a $33.25 fee for retrieving documents from storage.  Is this legal?  It certainly does not seem consistent with the PRA documentation I have read. A: The city may argue that charges for retrieval are based on the allowance of a “statutory fee” under Government Code § 6253(b).  However, California courts have not ruled on what constitutes a “statutory fee.” 

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What is a Reasonable Fee

What is a Reasonable Fee Q: The County of Riverside Environmental Health Dept. is charging $213 each for providing lists of generators, underground storage tanks, and other public records regarding the storage and use of hazardous materials.  The total charge for the six lists is $1,278.00.  The County Attorney will not waive the fees, stating they were established by the Board of Supvervisors.  What can be done to obtain the records at a reasonable fee?

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A&A: Can An Agency Charge Fees for Inspecting Public Records?

Q: I am inquiring whether agencies can charge you to inspect e-mails or get copies of e-mails based on Government Code section 6253.9(b)?  Are they allowed to use rule of cost to construct a record, and the cost of programming and computer services necessary to produce a copy of the record, for the charging of e-mails either to inspect them or get copies of them? A: Yes, fees may be charged for obtaining a copy an

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A&A: Does the CPRA allow use of iPhone to photograph public records?

Q: The County Recorders Office prohibits the use of hand scanners or digital cameras in its Public Documents room and requires researchers to purchase document copies from them. Is this restriction legal ? A: The California Public Records Act (CPRA), in pertinent part, only requires that an agency’s records be “open for inspection”, Govt. Code section 6253(a), and that “upon request for a copy of records . . . [the agency] shall make the records

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A&A: Did Prop. 42 eliminate fees for public records?

Q: I’m trying to find out whether Prop 42 now requires local agencies to provide free access to public records or whether they are still allowed to charge for copies. Thank you, A: I do not read Prop. 42 as prohibiting public agencies from charging a reasonable fee to cover the direct cost of duplication of a public records, as permitted under Gov’t Code § 6253(b).  Please note that the Public Records Act has never permitted

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