Public Records Act

News & Analysis as of

Water District Case Clarifies California Public Records Act Exemption for Utility Customers

“Customer” Includes a Business or Corporation, Judge Rules - The Public Records Act exempts from required disclosure the identities of commercial, as well as individual, utility customers, according to a recent...more

Attorney Billing Invoices Privileged From Disclosure Under PRA

California Court of Appeal Rules Attorney-Client Privilege Exemption Covers Billing Invoices - Billing invoices sent by an attorney to a client are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, a...more

California Supreme Court to Hear PRA Case on Inadvertent or Accidental Disclosure of Privileged Records

The California Supreme Court has granted review of a controversial Public Records Act ruling and will decide whether the well-recognized protection for attorney-client privileged documents inadvertently disclosed during the...more

LYNX Surveillance Footage Exempt from Public Inspection

In a surprising opinion issued on January 30, 2015, which promises to have a wide-reaching effect, the Fifth District Court of Appeal overturned a declaratory judgment entered in favor of WKMG-TV Local 6, and determined that...more

Review Of FCA And PRA Enforcement Processes: HM Treasury Findings And Recommendations

On 18 December 2014, HM Treasury published a final report following the review that it has undertaken of enforcement decision-making processes at the FCA and the PRA. Originally published in Practical Law on February...more

Florida’s Public Records Law: What Your Private Company Should Know

Does your private company contract with government agencies? If so, your company may have records that must be disclosed to the public under Florida’s Public Records Law. Florida’s Public Records Law can be found in Chapter...more

California AG Declares Whistleblower Tally A State Secret

Since 2004, the California Attorney General has been required to maintain a whistleblower hotline to receive calls from persons who have information regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules, or...more

Legal and Ethical Framework for New Public Officials

As the new year begins, many around California are embarking on a new endeavor: Serving for the first time on a city council, school board or other public agency board or commission. Those newly elected this past November are...more

Public Entities Can Inadvertently Waive Privilege in Response to a Public Records Act Request

California’s Public Records Act (PRA) law requires public entities to make their public records open for inspection and copying. Environmental practitioners often use PRA requests as a tool to obtain information regarding a...more

School District Case Clarifies PRA Copying Charges

A Government Agency Must Allow the Public to Inspect Records at No Cost, Judge Rules - A judge has ruled that a California school district’s charging policy for viewing public documents violates the Public Records Act....more

Accidental Disclosure Waives Privilege Under Public Records Act

Court of Appeal Says Privilege Removed Under PRA By Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents - If a privileged document is accidentally released to the public during compliance with a Public Records Act request,...more

Does The DBO’s Draft Tribal Consultation Policy Violate the Public Records Act?

Three years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued Executive Order B-10-11. Among other things, Governor Brown ordered: that it is the policy of this Administration that every state agency and department...more

Was California’s Public Records Act Founded On The Aventine Hill?

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the ancient Romans chose to explain their origins with tales of defeat, invasion, fratricide, communal rape and assassination. The city, which eventually occupied seven hills...more

McKee v. Peoria Unified School District: Court of Appeals Reverses Judgment Against School District in Public Records Case

In May, 2010, a student at a Peoria high school drowned during a swimming class supervised by physical education teacher Timothy McKee. After an internal investigation, the District sought to terminate McKee’s employment....more

Your Contract May Not Be as Confidential as You Think: Another Lesson in Safeguarding Trade Secrets in Government Procurement

For a second time this year, the Washington Court of Appeals has rejected claims that pricing and other information contained in contracts between private companies and government agencies are trade secrets not subject to...more

Public Records Act Update: Washington Court of Appeals Endorses Flexible Approach to Agencies' Response Time to Public Records...

In Andrews v. Washington State Patrol, No. 32288-2-III, 2014 WL 4627656 (Wash. Ct. App. Sept. 16, 2014), a case involving response times to public records requests, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the...more

Tips for Reacting to an "In-Person" Public Records Request under Florida's Public Records Act

Under Florida's broad Public Records Act ("the PRA"), chapter 119, Florida Statutes, any person - whether an individual or a legal entity - can request access to or copies of public records in the custody of state agencies,...more

Florida Gives Breach Notification Statute More Teeth

On June 20, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 (“FIPA”), which will repeal Florida’s current breach notification statute at Fla. Stat. § 817.5681 and replace it with a new...more

State Constitution Now Requires Local Agencies to Follow Brown and Public Records Acts - Whether or Not State Reimburses...

Voters Pass Proposition 42 and Create a Constitutional Amendment - California voters just approved Proposition 42, a state constitutional amendment to eliminate the requirement that the state reimburse costs incurred...more

How A Public Records Act Request Can Be Better Than A Subpoena Duces Tecum

The California counterpart to the Freedom of Information Act (aka FOIA) is the Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250 et seq. In a recent unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal succinctly explains why submitting...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Officers Named in Shootings

State Supreme Court Rules that Police Agencies Must Disclose Names of Officers Involved in Shootings Under the California Public Records Act - Overview: The California Supreme Court just ruled that the names of police...more

Appellate Court Public Records Act Decision Leaves Questions Unanswered

When the decision in City of San Jose v. Superior Court was announced, many public agency employees and officials were relieved to read that the Court of Appeal agreed with the city: communications on public officials’...more

And the Survey Said… Let There be Sunshine!

The people of California are clamoring for more – more sunshine and transparency. It is the mantra being heard across the state. Next month, Californians will vote on Proposition 42 and whether to amend the California...more

Messages Stored on Personal Electronic Devices in Personal Accounts Are Not Public Records

The disagreement between the trial court and 6th District Court of Appeal in Smith v. City of San Jose illuminates a growing concern over how to treat electronic communications that the Public Records Act never contemplated....more

When Innovation Outpaces the Law: Public Officials’ Private Devices, Accounts & the California Public Records Act

Part of JD Supra's series on innovation and the law. If a public official sends a text about the agency’s business from his or her personal phone on an account for which he or she foots the bill, is the text a public record?...more

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