Menu

FAC Attorneys Awarded $100k for Public Records Win

A Santa Clara Superior Court judge has awarded nearly $100,000 in attorneys fees to lawyers representing the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) in its successful California Public Records Act lawsuit against the city of Milpitas. Recognizing that FAC’s suit promoted a “significant public interest…in understanding whether high-ranking city officials were acting improperly,” Judge Sunil R. Kulkarni …

Read moreFAC Attorneys Awarded $100k for Public Records Win

Sunshine Advocates Decry San Francisco Ballot Measure That Would Let Lawmakers Tamper With Voter-Passed Transparency Laws

By Richard Knee, FAC Guest Columnist — Advocates for government transparency, including the First Amendment Coalition, are aligning against a measure on San Francisco’s November ballot that would, among other things, empower city officials to tamper with the city’s Sunshine Ordinance, which provides a greater level of public access to records and meetings than does California law. …

Read moreSunshine Advocates Decry San Francisco Ballot Measure That Would Let Lawmakers Tamper With Voter-Passed Transparency Laws

FAC Sues DOJ Over Trump Administration’s Secret Collection of Journalist’s Records

The First Amendment Coalition (FAC) today sued the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to force the department to disclose records relating to the government’s seizure of confidential telephone and email records from New York Times reporter Ali Watkins. The suit, filed today in federal court in San Francisco under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), …

Read moreFAC Sues DOJ Over Trump Administration’s Secret Collection of Journalist’s Records

A&A: Are Community Action Agencies Subject To the Brown Act?

Q: You would think that Community Action Agencies (non-profit 501c3) would be subject to the Brown Act  since they were created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, are required to have 1/3 of their board to be made up of elected officials, and receive huge amounts of federal and state tax payer monies, etc. But …

Read moreA&A: Are Community Action Agencies Subject To the Brown Act?

A&A: Agency Has Taken Months to Respond to CPRA Request. How Do I Find A Lawyer to Help Me Move Forward?

Q:  I sent via certified mail to a state agency in December of 2017. The only correspondence I have received to date was an email acknowledging they received my request on 1/4/18. However, no response has been given to any of the specific requests enumerated in my verified letter. Isn’t the agency supposed to respond …

Read moreA&A: Agency Has Taken Months to Respond to CPRA Request. How Do I Find A Lawyer to Help Me Move Forward?

A&A: Can I Gain Access to Police Reports Regarding My Brother’s Death?

Q:  I am trying to get information regarding my brother’s death at the hands of county sheriffs, but so far have not been able to get records because the case is still under investigation. Am I entitled to the records and how would I request footage of the incident? A:  While California’s Public Records Act provides …

Read moreA&A: Can I Gain Access to Police Reports Regarding My Brother’s Death?

A&A: How Do I Verify If I’m On A Government Watch List?

Q:  How do I know or verify if I am on a government watch list? A:  There may be numerous law enforcement agencies, both state and federal, that keep watch lists, and whether or not you can discover if you are on any particular watch list probably depends on the agency itself.  There are various websites …

Read moreA&A: How Do I Verify If I’m On A Government Watch List?

A&A: Is Agency’s “Request for Confidentiality,” Exception to Disclosure Legal Under the CPRA?

Q:  The Department of Managed Health Care cited exemptions to justify withholding requested records including: “Request for Confidentiality,”Section 1007 of Title 28,of the California Code of Regulations, which states: (a) The Director will withhold from public inspection, pursuant to the applicable state and/or federal law, information received in connection with an application (including applications for …

Read moreA&A: Is Agency’s “Request for Confidentiality,” Exception to Disclosure Legal Under the CPRA?

A&A: University Not Responding to CPRA Requests Made Seven Months Ago

Q: Seven months ago I  made a CPRA request to a state university, which has yet to comply. What does someone do in my situation? Would a lawsuit be appropriate here, and would the university release the documents in that case? A:  Under the Public Records Act, there are certain time limits that agencies must abide …

Read moreA&A: University Not Responding to CPRA Requests Made Seven Months Ago

A&A: Are Email Exchanges Between Political Officials and Third Parties Subject to CPRA Requests?

Q: I recently tried to access email communications between a current city political official and a former city political official over a local project that’s being funded by public funds. The city responded to my requests, but only with publicly accessible information, essentially amounting to a refusal. Reasons included: the information in these emails was designated …

Read moreA&A: Are Email Exchanges Between Political Officials and Third Parties Subject to CPRA Requests?