California Public Records Act
You may have heard about the Freedom of Information Act, which is a federal law that allows the public to request government documents and information – and to receive them (unless they are prohibited due reasons such as national security). In California, residents in the state have the same right to request government disclosure from the California state government. This is possible due to the California Public Records Act of 1968. Passed and signed in by former governor Ronald Reagan, the law provides Californians with the right to request state government information.
How does the California Public Records Act Work?
The California Public Records Act concerns public information that directly relates to a “state or local agency.” Furthermore, the information has to be in writing. The definition itself is intentionally quite broad, but it does not include personal conduct that would not relate to the “public’s business.” That means that any public and written documentation that relates to state government or agency activity can be requested at any point.
A person can make a request for documents through the California Public Records Act, but not actually have to provide a reason for doing so. You do not need to justify why you require the public document and why you are requesting it at that specific moment in time. Once you have made your request to the agency or the governmental body, it can take up to ten days for the request to be accepted and returned with the appropriate documents. If the public document you are requesting contains information that is exempt from the California Public Records Act, you will only receive the non-exempt portion of the document. If you have any questions about how to request access or believe you require access to documents due to legal reasons, please contact us at Law Advocates Group today.