- What is the California Public Records Act?
The right to inspect public records is generally regulated by the California Public Records Act Cal. Govt. Code§§ 6250 et seq. The legislature, while mindful of the right of individuals to privacy, found and declared that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in the state. The general policy of the act favors disclosure and a refusal to disclose information must be justified by the specific exceptions enumerated in the act.
Public records within the coverage of the Public Records act are ordinarily open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency in which they are kept. Govt. Code § 6253(a).
- What public records are subject to inspection?
"Public records" that are subject generally to inspection and copying include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.
Any tape or film record of a meeting made by or at the direction of a local agency is a public record which must be retained and made available to the public.
E-mail and other computer records, as with their paper counterparts, are public records if (1) they contain information relating to the conduct of the public's business and (2) they are prepared, owned, used or retained by the agency.
- How do I obtain a copy of a certified public record?
Certain City documents can be obtained and certified in the City Clerk's Office. Copies of all documents, including campaign disclosure forms, are available at $.10 per page.
The city DOES NOT provide the following types of records:
- Copies of marriage licenses
- birth certificates
- fictitious name statements
- business licenses
- real property inquiries
For such requests, please contact the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s offices.
Please be advised that the City is making every effort to provide documents in response to your requests for public records. However, many staff members are not in the office to retrieve the documents because of the social distancing measures recommended by LA County Health which require us to reduce staff working in City facilities. As a result, staff may not be able to meet the statutorily prescribed time for some or all of the production of records. In the event a shelter in place order is issued, staff will be complying with social distancing measures required by the health authorities, which measures may further impact records production. Staff will endeavor to provide responses to your public records requests promptly upon return to the office.