Can a public agency make a California Public Records Act Request?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Can a public agency make a California Public Records Act Request?   This question has been popular on this blog lately.  People have searched for it on two separate days a few days apart.

When I was a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, I handled a number of Federal Civil Rights cases against the City and the San Bernardino Police Department.  One case involved a man who had earlier had a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 civil rights case against the City of Riverside.  I called up a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Riverside I knew and asked how to get the depositions in the case.  She suggested that I make a California Public Records Act request.  I did so, and I received the depositions.

This is an easy question to answer because there is a published case on the subject.  “Our conclusion that the City is a “person” entitled to request documents from another governmental entity is the only rational and reasonable interpretation of the statute.”  Los Angeles Unified School District v. Superior Court (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 759, 771.  The confusion comes because the statute  (California Government Code section 6252(c) reads: “(c) “Person” includes any natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, firm, or association.”

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
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