California Public Records Act

California Public Records Act (CPRA)

What is the California Public Records Act?

CPRA Manual
Admin Order 4, 2019
2021 CPRA Inspection Report
2020 CPRA Inspection Report

In 1968, the California Legislature enacted the California Public Records Act (CPRA) under Government Code (GC) sections 6250-6270. In its findings and declarations, mindful of the right of individuals’ privacy, the Legislature declared it was the public’s right to access information concerning the peoples business.

Types of records are available?

The law requires law enforcement agencies to provide information the public has the right to know and at the same time, to withhold information if the release would jeopardize an individual’s right to privacy.

Certain records or portions of records are subject to privacy laws and/or other exemptions and are rarely ever available for viewing. All agency records not exempted by law are otherwise available.

Records Exempt from Public Requests

Items that are exempt, subject to Government Code (GC) 6254, and will likely be redacted are:

Identifying juvenile information
● Identifying victim information associated with crimes to Penal Code Sections 261,264,264.1,273a,273d,286,288 or 289
● Confidential informant identifying information
● Criminal offender record information
● Information that may endanger the safety of a witness or the other person
● Information that may jeopardize an investigation, related investigation or law enforcement proceeding
● Any portion of the report that reflects analysis, recommendation or conclusion of the investigating officer
● Information that may disclose investigative techniques
● Information that may deprive a person of a fair trial
● Preliminary drafts, notes, or memorandums which are not retained in the ordinary course of business
● Records pertaining to pending litigation to which the city is a party until the litigation is adjudicated or settled
● Personnel, medical or similar files
● Follow ups to initial investigation

Be Aware

Prompt access to public records is required by the CPRA (Government Code 6253). The 10– day period mentioned in the act is not a legal deadline for producing records. The 10-days allows the agency to review records, if it is not clear that they are public records. As soon as a determination is made, it will be at that time the records shall be released.

The rights under the CPRA provide for the inspection of public records or to obtain copies of identifiable records, it does not compel the agency to create lists or reports in response to the request.

Under Government Code 6253(b), Agencies may charge for the “direct costs” for providing copies of an identifiable record.

Public records requests for information from the Los Angeles Police Department can be obtained from the Discovery Section by submitting a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request below.

You will want to include the following information to ensure the scope of the request is understood and clear enough for personnel to determine if we have the records you are requesting.

  • The date(s) of the record
  • The subject of the record
  • A clear and specific description of the record
  • Any additional information that helps staff identify the record
  • Your complete contact information, so that we may notify you when your request is available
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