Under the California Public Record Act, one can get most records from the state government.
"Records" include all communications related to public business "regardless of physical form or characteristics, including any writing, picture, sound, or symbol, whether paper, magnetic or other media." (§ 6252(e)) Electronic records are included, but software may be exempt. (§§ 6253.9(a),(g), 6254.9 (a),(d)).
All state and local agencies are covered, including: (1) any officer, bureau, or department.; (2) any "board, commission or agency" created by the agency (including advisory boards); and non-profits that coordinate with local agencies. (§ 6252(a),(b)).
Now here is where you run into an issue:
Under § 6252(e)), employees
' private papers (including their names), are not covered unless they relate to the conduct of the pubic's business [and are] prepared, owned, used, or retained by the agency
. Public employee's addresses are also exempt.
The CRPA request may give you some information, but the agency may redact (black out) employee's private information under § 6252 and other similar statutes. To overcome this, one must:
1) Specifically request in the CPRA letter that this information is not redacted, and
2) Explain that it is public record is not not exempt under Ca. Gov. Code § 6252 et seq
Now, the agency may still deny the request and/or provide a redacted reply. If so, then the individual may appeal this matter to Court
under a Writ of Mandate
or a similar pleading to have the Court review the matter.
The Court would then determine whether or not the information is denied for good reason under the law and whether the right of privacy in a given circumstance outweighs the interests of the public in access to the information.
Employee performance and like records have SOMETIMES been deemed as to be disclosed, and sometimes not. It depends on a case by case basis:Bakersfield City School District v. Superior Court 2004 WL(NNN) NNN-NNNN(Cal.App. 5 Dist.); Payton v. City of Santa Clara (1982) 132 Cal.App.3d 152
: disciplinary records were not disclosable unless the state could demonstrate a compelling interest in disclosure
;AFSCME v. Regents of University of California (1978) 80 Cal.App.3d 913
: performance audit was disclosable unless charges were found to be groundless.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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