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A&A: City Council Is Proposing to Order Police to “Resist” PRA Requests

Q: We have a City Council unfamiliar it seems with the First Amendment. The most recent proposal is to order the police to “resist” public records act requests for certain booking photos. The local journalist here is standing pretty much alone. My interest is only concerned citizen. I just looking for the ammunition to be …

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A&A: My Request for City Contract with Towing Company Was Never Answered

Q: I requested a copy of a contract, between my community and a towing company base in a neighboring city, but never received a response. A: Under California’s Public Records Act, “‘[p]ublic records’ includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or …

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A&A: Police Deny Request for Previously Public Statement Claiming Exemptions

Q: I am seeking public records from the Police Department. They routinely deny access to records claiming exemptions. In 2017 police drew guns on a group of black youth at the Target store. After a viral video criticizing the incident was posted and subsequently deleted, the Police released a statement. My request for records from …

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A&A: Attempting to Access Records Reguarding Use of Force in Junvenile Halls. What’s Public? What’s Private?

Q: I’m researching uses of force with the County Probation Department at juvenile halls and had questions about what kind of information is public vs. private. A: I would be happy to answer any questions you have about accessing records and information related to the use of force in juvenile halls.  Making a request for …

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A&A: How does one deal with CPRA Request Response Denying the Records As ‘Privileged’?

Q: How does one deal with ‘Privileged’ designation in a Public Records Act request response? A:  Both the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product privilege are incorporated into the Public Records Act through Government Code § 6254(k). In general, California law provides that confidential communications between a lawyer and his or her client are privileged and …

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A&A: Denied Access to City Attorney Fees in Police Officer Assault Case

Q: I recently submitted a PRA request to our city attorney’s office regarding the legal defense of a city police officer. He is facing trial for assaulting a suspect. I simply inquired if he was paying his own defense or if the city was footing the bill. Their response was that 1) My request was in …

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A&A: What are the free speech rights of public employees?

Q: I am a member of the governing board of the Unified School District.  An employee just told me that the superintendent told her that if she speaks to any board member she would be “dealt with.” The conundrum is this: Employees share their concerns with us but ask that their identities be kept confidential. …

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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 …

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A&A: PRA Response Says Records Were Not Found, But I Know They Exist. How to respond.

Q: I recently made a PRA for letters and documents between a university and a staff member. I know the documents likely exist because they are referenced in a published news story by the campus paper that the university has not refuted. Despite this, I received a response letter stating that after a search, no …

Read moreA&A: PRA Response Says Records Were Not Found, But I Know They Exist. How to respond.