California Public Records Act

  • What is the California Public Records Act?

    The Public Records Act is designed to give the public access to information in possession of public agencies: "public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the…agency and every person has a right to inspect any public record, except as . . . provided, [and to receive] an exact copy” of an identifiable record unless impracticable. (§ 6253). Specific exceptions to disclosure are listed in sections 6253.2, 6253.5, 6253.6, 6254, 6254.1-6254.22, 6255, 6267, 6268, 6276.02- 6276.48; to ensure maximum access, they are read narrowly. The agency always bears the burden of justifying nondisclosure, and "any reasonably segregable portion . . . shall be available for inspection…after deletion of the portions which are exempt." (§ 6253(a)).