The Public Records Act
How to use it
A web page by Jay O'Brien

The California Public Records Act (PRA) is intended to obtain public access to information held by the Government. The intent of this web page is to make it easier to invoke the PRA to get information.

An example of a successful invocation of the PRA is linked below. It was successful in that it did get information, but even after getting that information and presenting it to the Board of Supervisors, it was ignored. The operation was a success but the patient died. I should have taken it to the Grand Jury, but I ran out of steam. The PRA process is good, however, as the County of Sacramento actually expressed "regret" to me, something I didn't think was possible.

Bill Casale found the incredibly useful web page at UC Berkeley that includes a Sample PRA request and a "pocket guide" to the PRA. As the UC Berkeley site has been unreachable on occasion from my ISP, I've copied the Berkeley sample request and pocket guide to this web site. Be sure to go to the UC site for additional public records discussion, including the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Jay O'Brien, 3/3/02


By Jay O'Brien: How I used the Public Records Act to force Sacramento County to release documents

From UC Berkeley: Sample PRA request letter
From UC Berleley: Pocket Guide to the PRA

Link to UC Berkeley Journalism--Resources, The CAL-FOI Archive

California Public Records Act, Government Code sections 6250-6270
California Public Records Act Exemptions, Government Code sections 6275-6276.48