Bergman Dacey Goldsmith

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New Case Update on the California Public Records Act

NEW CASE UPDATE

City of San Jose v. Superior Court, 2014 Cap.App.LEXUS 293

CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL LIMITS THE SCOPE OF
THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

On March 27, 2014, in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, the Court of Appeal held that the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) does not require the disclosure of documents sent or received by public officials and employees on their private electronic devices using their private accounts. The Court of Appeal held that such communications are not “public records” with the meaning of the CPRA.

This decision provides much needed guidance on the scope of the CPRA requirements in today’s digital age. The decision also provides much needed relief to public entities who have limited resources to respond to numerous burdensome CPRA requests.

It is possible that the decision may be appealed to the California Supreme Court, or the Legislature may amend the CPRA to require the disclosure of messages on the private electronic devices of public officers and employees, as such this is an issue that bears watching.

Bergman Dacey Goldsmith has represented public entities for over three decades, and has significant experience in advising public entities on CPRA issues, and litigating CPRA actions in Court. Should you like more information on how your entity can adjust its CPRA procedures in light of the City of San Jose v. Superior Court decision, please contact Brian J. Bergman at (310) 470-6110 or [email protected].

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