IF YOUR REQUEST IS DENIED
Keep a log of to whom you speak and the
stated reason for the denial.
Employ the following six-step DENIAL strategy:
D = Discretionary: Exemptions are permis-
sive, never mandatory. Ask the agency if it will
waive the exemption and release the record.
E = Explanation: Insist that the agency ex-
plain in a written denial why the exemption
applies to the requested record.
N = Narrow Application: The Act favors ac-
cess. Exemptions must be narrowly construed.
I = Isolate : Request the release of any non-
exempt portions of the record.
A = Appeal: State your rights, using this guide,
and ask to speak to a higher agency official.
L = Lawsuit: File suit to enforce your rights.
If you win, the agency must pay your costs
and legal fees. (§ 6259(d)); Belth v. Gara-
mendi 232 Cal.App.3d 896 (1991).
• Write a news story or Letter to the Editor about
• Consult your supervisor or lawyer, or contact
one of the groups listed on this brochure.
California Public Records Act
GOVT. CODE §§ 6250 - 6276.48
The Public Records Act is designed to give the
public access to information in possession of
public agencies: "public records are open to
inspection at all times during the office hours of
the…agency and every person has a right to
inspect any public record, except as . . . pro-
vided, [and to receive] an exact copy” of an
identifiable record unless impracticable. (§
6253). Specific exceptions to disclosure are
listed in sections 6253.2, 6253.5, 6253.6, 6254,
6254.1-6254.22, 6255, 6267, 6268, 6276.02-
6276.48; to ensure maximum access, they are
read narrowly. The agency always bears the
burden of justifying nondisclosure, and "any
reasonably segregable portion . . . shall be
available for inspection…after deletion of the
portions which are exempt." (§ 6253(a))
• All state and local agencies, including: (1)
any officer, bureau, or department.; (2) any
"board, commission or agency" created by
the agency (includ