Search Results for: Times Mirror deliberative 6255

A&A: On access to government officials’ appointment calendars

QUESTION: I requested calendar appointments of the Superintendent  for my district. He refused saying they were exempt from the Public Records Act pursuant to Govt. Code 6254(a) and (k) and 6255, as they relate to the “deliberative process.” However, I understand that the agency must clearly explain not merely state why the public interest does not favor disclosure. (Times Mirror v. Superior CT.) I responded with codes 6253(a) They’ve also postponed other records past the

Read More »

Mayor’s appearance calendar

Mayor’s appearance calendar Q: A local activist says that the Mayor and City Attorney “have both sent me letters refusing to divulge the mayor’s calendar of scheduled May appearances as Mayor and/or his appointment book of meetings as Mayor for the past two months.” Is this legal under Prop 59? A: In 1991, the California Supreme Court ruled that something called the “deliberative process” exemption allowed the Governor to refuse to release copies of his

Read More »

A&A: How can I get around the CPRA “catch-all” exemption?

Q: A recent CPRA request  to the  California Department of  Justice resulted in a partial denial of responsive records; they claimed the deliberative process exemption for the records not provided (citing Times Mirror). If a process is not related to something truly requiring secrecy, are there any options to pursue this information and what would be the appropriate response to their letter? A: For background purposes, Government Code section 6255(a) of the Public Records Act,

Read More »

A&A: City rules complaintant names are always withheld

Q: I have requested the name of a complainant against me in a Building Code Enforcement case. There have been anonymous harassment events in my neighborhood that the complaint may be linked to. The agency declined to release the name, citing the 6255 catch-all provision in the city regulation that says the public interest clearly outweighs the release of complainant names in all cases (City of San Jose v. Superior Ct. 74 Cal.App.4th 1008). I

Read More »

Deliberative process and the public record

Deliberative process and the public record Q: 1) Are public record emails to and from an elected county supervisor and his aides and staffers off limits, as the county counsel never quoted a legal reference when denying my request for such, only writing my “request may seek records that reflect the deliberative process contributing to an executive or legislative decision, “It’s believed communications exist chronicling a County Supervisor quashing, and meddling into, a reported Elder

Read More »

Accessing bids for public contracts

Accessing bids for public contracts Q: I have submitted a request for public records to an irrigation district, consisting of several documents but most importantly a copy of a publicly read proposal turned in my another contractor.  The irrigation district’s general counsel refused the request and quoted Times Mirror v. Superior Court.    Public bids are read aloud at the time of opening and are subject to review at that time by any one, how is

Read More »

Emails as public records

Emails as public records Q: To what extent is email correspondence a public record? Is the correspondence between two School District Directors on a particular subject recoverable even when the equivalent conversation via telephone would not be? A: E-mails are “public records” as defined by the California Public Records Act. Government Code section 6252(e) defines “public records” as follows:”Public records” includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned,

Read More »

COMMENTARY

The “deliberative process privilege” is dead or, at best, on life support. Here’s to pulling the plug on an FOI loophole that never should have been. By Peter Scheer The chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Bill Postmus, refuses to make public his calendar of meetings and other government events. This refusal takes no small amount of chutzpah, since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger regularly releases his calendars, as have all other statewide elected

Read More »

A&A: Can the Deliberative Process Privilege be used to avoid answering a deposition?

Q:  Is there any new case law on deliberative process privilege? I read on the website that in 2008 the CA court of appeals ruled Prop. 59 didn’t eliminate the deliberative process privilege. So, is the fact that the right to know is a constitutional right a dead argument? Can the privilege be claimed to prevent deposition of City Council members if it is believed their motivation was discrimination and retaliation? I hope there has

Read More »

A&A: Public Records Act Request Denied Due to Inability to Redact “Deliberative Material”

Q:  In response to public comment that I made before the school board, the school district’s Charter School Division sent an email to a charter school asking for data so that they could report back to the Board.  I sent a Public Records Act request to the District asking for a copy of the report that was generated using this data. The school district has informed me that the records that I requested are exempt

Read More »

Access to appointment calendars

Access to appointment calendars Q: Can one use Proposition 59 to justify a public records request of the sheriff’s calendar? A: You can request access to the Sheriff’s calendar pursuant to both the California Public Records Act (CPRA), specifically Government Code section 6253(b), and “Proposition 59” which is actually part of the California Constitution (Article I, section 3(b) of the California Constitution, to be precise).Neither the CPRA nor Article I, section 3(b) of the Constitution

Read More »

A&A: Can cities withhold public access to calendars?

Q: My City is planning to build a large in-patient psychiatric hospital less than 600 feet from a high school. So far there have been zero safety assessments and yet the City is trying to push it through. We figured this out via a PRA request and subsequently I’ve been making several PRAs – I received a response today and asked for access to the City’s calendars. Without providing any description as to why, they exempted

Read More »

COMMENTARY

Public officials’ love of secrecy is no match for the public’s love to watch government decision-making up close. In California, democratic voyeurism prevails. By Peter Scheer One of California’s more remarkable political inventions is the requirement that lawmakers do their lawmaking in the open for all to see. Call it the people’s entitlement to democratic voyeurism: Members of city councils, county supervisors and school boards (among other local legislative bodies) must not only vote in

Read More »

A&A: Report Request Denied Citing ‘Attorney Work Product, Official Info and Deliberative Process Privilege’

Q:  I am a reporter working on a story about medical care for in inmates at our county jail. I recently discovered that the county hired an outside consultant (a doctor) to conduct a review of those services. The consultant created a report that the county then used to implement reforms. Naturally, I requested the report but was denied. Here was the county’s response: “The Report you seek is a confidential document. [the doctor] was retained

Read More »

A&A: Can I use the PRA to request lawmaker’s emails and calendars?

Q: Please tell me how I can go about submitting a PRA request for a lawmaker’s emails and calendar, and for the agendas of a legislative caucus. To whom do I submit my request? A: Statutes governing access to public records differ depending upon the person from whom you seek the records.  The Public Records Act only applies to records “prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency…”  Gov’t Code § 6252(e)(emphasis

Read More »

A&A: Does “Deliberative Process Privilege” Allow California governor to Withhold Communications Relating to Voter-Mandated Study?

Q: I submitted a California Public Records Act request to the California Department of Public Health, Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), Gov. Newsom, CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration and Attorney General Xavier Becerra regarding the voter mandated nonprofit feasibility study required by the text of CA Prop 64. I received a response from all agencies, except the BCC stated the department needed 60 days to produce the records they were in possession of.

Read More »

A&A: Can I access emails of city employees using personal emails for city business?

Q: Our newspaper made an public records request for ”all emails to and from city employees” regarding a new parking meter system the city is using.  Our intention is to see whether employees have written emails stating that the system is not working properly. In response, the city attorney exempted an unspecified number of emails citing a ’deliberative process’ exemption in CCC 6252(d), 6254(a) and (k) and 6255. He cited cases including Rogers v. Superior

Read More »

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.

Read More »

A&A: City Wrongly Applying “Deliberative Process Exemption” To Requested Records

Q: The City administration is wrongfully terminating employees as punishment for asking for disability retirement. I am a victim. They are withholding emails by wrongfully applying the deliberative process exemption to protect themselves from lawsuit for the wrongful termination. I have written proof. I have contacted this agency once before using this form but never got a response. I thought I would try one more time. A: If you believe that your City is wrongfully withholding documents

Read More »