California Public Records Act FAQ

Resources Access to Records Menu | Access to Records Download CPRA FAQ Frequently Asked Questions About the California Public Records Act Q: Do I have to submit a Public Records Act request in writing? A: No, but we recommend it. It helps to create a record of your request. Q: Who can make a Public Records Act request? A: Anyone can. This includes individuals, organizations and companies. There is no residency requirement, meaning anyone regardless

Read More »

A&A: How Can I Access Records From The California Department of Corrections Regarding High-Profile Offenders?

Q:  I need to obtain information from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) regarding several high-profile offenders, some of whom are deceased, for a project I am doing on several high-profile murder cases. All of the offenders are or were on Death Row at one point in time and several are deceased. What information can I obtain? A: The records you’re looking for from CDCR are likely available through the use of the California

Read More »

A&A: Should I be able to get meta data of emails and calendars under the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance or Public Records Act?

 Q: I have anonymously requested from various San Francisco agencies, under the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance and California Public Records Act, full email and calendar records, specifically in the original electronic format the city agencies hold them. While some agencies do indeed produce their emails/calendar entries in the native electronic formats like .msg, .eml, .ics, etc. which preserve all the headers, attachments, and metadata, more often, agencies “print” the records to PDF format. This causes

Read More »

Lawsuit succeeds in preserving Trump White House records

A lawsuit filed in December by the National Security Archive and three other co-plaintiffs has succeeded in preserving White House records including WhatsApp messages. Archive lawyers also preserved former President Donald Trump’s tweets even ones he deleted along with other social media posts made by White House staff. The White House Counsel also rescinded its policy allowing for preservation of records by screen shot. President Joe Biden now requires all records preserved in complete electronic

Read More »

A&A: I was stopped from taking photos of court records with my phone to save costs. What can I do?

Q: Recently the organization I work for had submitted and received a Public Records Act Request of all individuals who had been charged with gang enhancements. However, there is specific information we also need but must pull the Superior Court case file to obtain such as: age, race, location, etc. These documents are electronic so we are unable to use our scanner to make copies without incurring costs. The only other way of obtaining these

Read More »