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A&A: Can fees be charged for existing electronic/digital records?

Q: The County’s Public Safety Group sent me an invoice in regards to my PRA request for copies of their three existing contracts with Cal Fire. These records already exist in an electronic/ digital format. There is no reason to charge me a fee for them to be delivered to me via email. They just […]

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A&A: Can City withhold information until it tells City Council members?

Q: This is two pronged:  I asked the City Clerk multiple times if they had heard from county elections officials if they had verified signatures turned in for a citizen’s ballot initiative. I was told repeatedly they had not yet heard. The next day, they sent me the document from the county showing the signatures had been verified. […]

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A&A: No vote on new superintendent, but of consensus reached in closed session

Q: The School Board announced last night that they had narrowed the field of candidates for superintendent to one finalist when reporting out of closed session. But no vote was taken. The board president emailed me today that they had reached consensus. How can they do that without a vote being taken? Is that legal? […]

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A&A: Can my access to public records be limited to “by appt. only”?

Q: I have been spending a lot of time inspecting the minutes of a local business improvement district. This week they changed their office hours from M-F 8:30-5:30 to be by appointment only, and this greatly limits my ability to look at documents in their office. Their staff is in the office during the old […]

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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 […]

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A&A: How can I access records regarding college sports’ recruitment?

Q: I’m a newspaper reporter working on a story on a local man charged in a nationally covered rape case, and we have reason to believe he was being recruited by major college sports programs while on trial. I have the name of the schools, which are public institutions, and we want to know the best way of retrieving documents from […]

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A&A: City Records–what does the CPRA say on security, period of retention, availability?

Q: I’m investigating a lax building code and the permitting procedures of my city’s Building Department, for several specific examples. I have examples, where there is ongoing construction and periodic remodeling done, without original permits or follow up ! The remodeling is incremental but , the accumulation, of ad-on, over the years is substantial! The request was sent […]

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A&A: Does the Brown Act allow closed session negotiations for all public school contracts?

Q: Does the Brown Act allow a publicly elected school board to hold closed session discussion under Government Code 54957 (Public Employee Appointment/Employment) and 54957.6 (Labor Negotiations) regarding the appointment and pay structure of a Director of Curriculum to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. Both positions are administrative positions that report directly to the […]

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A&A: Police say daily crime logs can’t be released to the public

Q: I have been seeking release of daily crime logs through the Police Department, preferably the day they are issued. The log is maintained by a patrol officer for 24-hour periods between 4 a.m. and 4 a.m. and through CPRA request have successfully obtained past logs electronically in .doc or .pdf format. However, the department Public […]

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A&A: CPRA request won’t be fulfilled unless we show documents we’ve already received

Q:  One of my reporters put in a PRA request with a law enforcement agency. It has asked to see the documents we have obtained so that it can know what key words to search. I don’t think we should do that, but the office is saying we won’t get the documents we need unless we honor […]

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