News & Analysis as of

Public Records Act

Private Attorney General Statute to Award Fees Used in a Reverse-PRA Dispute - Part III: Pasadena Police Officers Association v....

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Reversing a lower court, a California appellate court found that a newspaper could recover attorneys’ fees under the Private Attorney General Statute in a Public Records Act suit. The Second District Court of Appeal decision...more

An Appellate Court’s Observation May Have Effect on Reverse-PRA Actions - Part II: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena, the Second District Court of Appeal made an interesting observation about the effect of the Public Records Act’s time requirement for a response to a PRA request...more

PRA Fee Award Narrowed to Cover the Issue of Scope of Redactions - Part I: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A California Court of Appeal upheld a decision to drastically reduce an attorney fee award request against the City of Pasadena to a newspaper in a Public Records Act litigation — a decision that should bring relief to public...more

Top 5 Tips for Responding to a PRA Request (Hint: Communication is Key)

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Public agencies in California, along with those across the country, are seeing a dramatic increase recently in the number of Public Records Act requests. Some cities and local public agencies are staffing up to meet the...more

New Laws Part I: 2018 Brings Campaign, Election and Records Reforms

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

From bumping up the statewide primary election date to protecting the personal information of public employees and making campaign contributions more transparent, state lawmakers passed a wave of laws regarding campaigns,...more

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part I - Elections, Public Records Act, Revenue and Conflicts of Interest

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The California Legislature was busy in 2017, which means plenty of laws passed in Sacramento that will impact public agencies. In this three-part series, Best Best & Krieger LLP gives a comprehensive summary of the new laws...more

Bill Would Restrain Online Disclosures By The Secretary Of State

by Allen Matkins on

California's legislature reconvened last week for the second year of its biennium. Assemblyman Marc Steinorth began the session by introducing a bill requiring the Secretary of State to exclude certain personal information...more

New Jersey Appellate Division Clarifies Rights to Disclosure of School Records Under Public Records Law

by Genova Burns LLC on

In a lengthy, published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently ruled on four appeals from different trial courts (that had reached conflicting results) about the ability of a nonprofit advocacy organization for...more

Cherokee Agency and the Standard for Disclosure of Public Records in Tennessee

by Butler Snow LLP on

As statutes go, the Tennessee Public Records Act (TPRA) is fairly straightforward. Under it, “[a]ll state, county, and municipal records shall . . . be open for personal inspection by any citizen of this state[.]” “[T]hose in...more

PRA Request Compliance May Not Shield from Attorney's Fees - California Appellate Court Orders City to Pay

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The City of San Diego was ordered by an appellate court to pay attorney’s fees to a Public Records Act requestor-plaintiff — despite having produced all requested records, and the trial court having dismissed a PRA writ...more

Petitioner is Prevailing Party Entitled to Attorney Fees Where Undisputed Evidence Proves that Writ Petition Motivated City to...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

The California Public Records Act provides for public inspection of records maintained by state and local agencies and declares that “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and...more

Under The Public Records Act, A Losing Party May Be The Prevailing Party

by Allen Matkins on

When the California legislature enacted the Public Records Act, it declared “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state”. Gov’t...more

Colorado Open Records Act Amendments Take Effect This Month

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-040 into law on June 1, 2017, marking the first major update to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) in more than 20 years. The amendments to CORA are effective on Aug. 9,...more

Federal government proposes reform of public sector Access to Information Act

by DLA Piper on

The Government of Canada has proposed amendments to the federal Access to Information Act (ATIA) with the stated goal of improving public access to government records. Access to Information advocates have been calling for an...more

Government Employees Can’t Hide Behind Their Private Email Accounts: California Supreme Court Expands Public Records Definition To...

by Weintraub Tobin on

The use of private email servers and communications devices by government officials was a major issue in the 2016 election, from the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices to the hacking of a private email account...more

Attorney Billing Records Not Categorically Protected by California Attorney-Client Privilege

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Holland & Knight issued an alert in June 2015, written by Allison Martin Rhodes and Craig S. Weinstein, regarding an earlier California Court of Appeal ruling in this case. This alert provides an update after a December 2016...more

Finally Relief for Florida Agencies Safe Harbor with Public Records Requests

Florida public agencies have made tremendous efforts in training their staff to comply with their responsibility under the Florida Public Records Act. Unfortunately, one technical mistake has turned this law into the Lawyer’s...more

First Quarter CEQA Update in Under 60 Seconds

Okay, maybe slightly longer than 60 seconds. The point being, though, that CEQA case updates really should not read like law school case briefs. Long discussion of the lower court’s findings? No thank you. ...more

Public Records Act And The Price Of Privacy: Part 2

In part 1 of this two-part series we discussed how the City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith) will forever change the nature of public service. In part 2, we will offer practical suggestions to respond to this change....more

Public Records Act And The Price Of Privacy: Part 1

In part 1 of this two-part series we’ll discuss how the City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith) will forever change the nature of public service. In part 2, we will offer practical suggestions to respond to this change....more

California Supreme Court Rules Public Employees Personal Email Accounts are Subject to California Public Records Act

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court issued an important ruling regarding the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) (Govt. Code §6250 et seq.) and held that writings of a public employee may be subject to the...more

California Public Employees' Personal Accounts May Be Subject to Public Records Act Requests

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In City of San Jose v. Superior Court, No. S218066 (Cal. Mar. 2, 2017), the Supreme Court of California decided unanimously that communications made or stored on a public employee's personal account, including emails sent...more

Civil Discovery Act Applies to Public Records Act Proceedings, California Appellate Court Concludes

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Public entities litigating California Public Records Act cases may now face the additional burden of responding to civil discovery requests. The Second District Court of Appeal recently issued its opinion in City of Los...more

California Supreme Court Rules that Texts and Emails on Personal Devices May Be Considered Public Records

by Allen Matkins on

The California Supreme Court recently held in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, California Supreme Court Case No. S218066, that public employees' digital messages existing in private electronic devices (e.g., smartphones...more

E-Communications on Private Accounts May Be Subject to Disclosure Under the California Public Records Act

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The California Supreme Court has finally decided a question that has, for years, vexed courts, public officials, the media and citizen watchdogs: Are electronic communications — emails, voicemails and texts — on private...more

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