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FAC Receives $100k Gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies

FAC has received a $100,000 gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to support the organization’s work to defend free speech, the free press, and public participation in civic affairs. This generous and substantial commitment will enable FAC to continue to grow its programs and reach new audiences—work that is more important than ever in light of unprecedented threats …

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Seeking Applications for the Position of Communications and Programs Director

  The First Amendment Coalition is seeking qualified applicants to for the position of Communications and Programs Director. The First Amendment Coalition (FAC), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment and the public’s right to know, is looking for a communications and programs director with at least five years of experience in …

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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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