RESOURCES

Accessing public records

Welcome to FAC’s Public Records homepage.  The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is the key law for accessing public records from both local governments and state agencies in California (but excluding the state Legislature and the courts, which are subject to separate access rules).  The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the record-access law for all executive branch and independent agencies of the federal government.

Accessing State Records

navigating the California public Records Act

CPRA Primer

A California Public Records Act primer written by FAC attorney James Chadwick of Sheppard Mullin, LLP.

CPRA Request Letter

A sample letter template with instructional annotations for writing a CPRA request letter.

CPRA Text Of Law

Government Sections 6250-6270 (Version includes all updates of the CPRA law through 2012)

Accessing Federal Public Records

Navigating the Freedom of Information Act

FOIA Request Letter

A sample letter template with instructional annotations and additional resources for writing a FOIA request letter.

FOIA Text Of Law

The full text of the Freedom of Information Act in a form showing all amendments to the statute made by the “FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.”

FOIA FAQ

Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA. Click this box for answers to questions about the law.

Video

Video: Accessing Court Records
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Accessing California Court Records

California Court records are generally public records, yet are exempted from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. Familiarize yourself with the relevant statutes and case law to access court records in California with this video, Accessing California Court Records. Presented by Duffy Carolan, a partner of Jassy, Vick, Carolan’s San Francisco office and FAC Board Member. (37:00 minutes)

Video

Video: CRPA Essentials
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CPRA Essentials

The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is the Freedom of Information law for California. It provides a right of access to records in the possession of state and local governments (but excluding the state Legislature and the courts). The CPRA Essentials video is a great introduction for anyone looking to access government records and an excellent refresher for journalists and government officials. Presented by FAC General Counsel, Roger Myer,  Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, San Francisco. (37:00 minutes)