California Public Records Act

WHAT IS THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS ACT?

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 people’s business.

WHAT IS A PUBLIC RECORD?


As defined in the California Public Records Act, Government Code section 6252 "public records 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."

WHO CAN MAKE A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST?

Any person can make a Public Records request.

HOW TO MAKE A PUBLIC RECORDS ACT REQUEST


The California Highway Patrol understands and supports the public’s right to access the public records created and maintained by the Department in the course of their normal business. It is the goal of the State of California and the California Highway Patrol to provide service to the public in a transparent manner.

To submit a request for public records, please call or visit the CHP Area office nearest you. Contacting personnel at the Area where the incident occurred or originated is preferred, but not required.
For a complete list of offices, please visit our website at https://www.chp.ca.gov/find-an-office

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:

· A clear and specific description of the record
· The date(s) of the record
· Location where the incident occurred
· The subject of the record
· Any additional information that helps staff identify the record
· Your contact information, only if you want to be notified when your request is available.

Prompt access to public records is required by the CPRA (Government Code 6253). The 10–day period mentioned in the CPRA is not a deadline for producing records. Should the request be voluminous, the records are housed in a location other than the location the record is being sought, the Department may need a reasonable amount of time to review and inspect records; therefore, it may take longer before the records can be made available. The Department will make every effort to keep you apprised of timeframes.

 

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