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Sunshine



How to Make a Public Record Request (PR) with a Government Agency in California

This webpage is an ongoing open source project. If you have corrections or additions please e-mail info@sfneighborhoods.net Thank You.

This document goes in to making a Public Record request in San Francisco, California. Public Record requests are under San Francisco Sunshine Act (SFSO), California Public Record Act (CPRA), the Brown Act and less the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This being said, much of the information is applicable elsewhere. Where information is specific, it will be noted what act(s) apply.

The California Public Record Act is often referred to as CPRA in court, legal records, and writings on CPRA. Following that convention in legal writings, I will use SFSO to refer to the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance. "Government code" is used for Federal and State. San Francisco code is “Municipal Code” a subset of it is "Administrative Code" where the SFSO can be found. These will show up in writings from other sources.

Index


Public Record Request Template Form

Immediate Disclosure Request - Public Record Request Form Template (San Francisco)

Supervisor of Records Petition Template

Search Records Already Public (San Francisco) (currently being developed)

What is a Public Record?


Agency Does Not Need to Know the Reason for a Public Record Request

Any Person can Make a Public Record Request

Where to Make a Public Record Request (San Francisco)

Forms a Public Record Request Can Take


Creating a Public Record Request


An Agency Must Help the Requester Succeed


San Francisco City Custodian of Records Response Template     Direct Download of PDF

Public Record Request Timeline

Rolling Basis or Rolling Production or Incremental

Immediate Disclosure Request (San Francisco)

Questions in a Public Record Request

Public Record Request of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance Task Force

Delay, Denial, Obstruction and Withholding

Refusal or Non-Compliance of an Agency to Your Public Record Request

Investigative Withholding (Police other investigative matters) (Still under construction)

Examples of Public Record Requests


Links to California Public Access Laws


Search Records Already Public (San Francisco)

(Currently being developed as another webpage)

What is a Public Record in California?

CPRA § 6250
(d) "Public agency" means any state or local agency.

(e) "Public records" includes 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. "Public records" in the custody of, or maintained by, the Governor's office means any writing prepared on or after January 6, 1975.

(f) (1) "State agency" means every state office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, and commission or other state body or agency, except those agencies provided for in Article IV (except Section 20 thereof) or Article VI of the California Constitution.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or any other law, "state agency" shall also mean the State Bar of California, as described in Section 6001 of the Business and Professions Code.

(g) "Writing" means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.

"and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing any form of communication or representation …….or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored." means all forms of recorded information that currently exist or that may exist in the future.

There are exemptions of public records request, CPRA §6254, that are discretionary. It is a long list. There are exemptions of public records that are not discretionary ranging from personal information, medical, child welfare, evidence in an ongoing investigation and litigation, confidential under Penal Code and attorney-client privilege (attorneys for the government agency). It is a list that overall makes common sense.

There is a condition that can possibly make a record that is on the exempt list a public record that is not exempt from redaction or withholding and that is if the record or part of a record has been shared or shown to another member of the public or public organization. The government cannot choose which member(s) of the public it will share a record with and which it will not. Citizens must be treated equally.

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Drafts

CPRA § 6254 Except as provided in Sections 6254.7 and 6254.13, this chapter does not require the disclosure of any of the following records:
(a) Preliminary drafts, notes, or interagency or intra-agency memoranda that are not retained by the public agency in the ordinary course of business, if the public interest in withholding those records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure."

Note the use of "preliminary". So CPRA does require the disclosure of drafts, notes or interagency or intra-agency memoranda that are not preliminary and even if preliminary "if the public interest in withholding those records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure." It all comes down to decisions and the reason for those decisions should be made in full view of the public. Facts should always be made public in decisions made by government.

"If preliminary materials are not customarily discarded or have not in fact been discarded as is customary they must be disclosed." Citizens for A Better Environment v. Department of Food and Agriculture, 171 Cal. App. 3d 704 (1985)

The SFSO clearly state that “preliminary” drafts or memorandum are public record and not exempt, that factual content is not exempt.

SFSO § 67.24 (a) Drafts and Memoranda.
(1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2), no preliminary draft or department memorandum, whether in printed or electronic form, shall be exempt from disclosure under Government Code Section 6254, Subdivision (a) or any other provision. If such a document is not normally kept on file and would otherwise be disposed of, its factual content is not exempt under Subdivision (a). Only the recommendation of the author may, in such circumstances, be withheld as exempt.

(2) Draft versions of an agreement being negotiated by representatives of the City with some other party need not be disclosed immediately upon creation but must be preserved and made available for public review for 10 days prior to the presentation of the agreement for approval by a policy body, unless the body finds that and articulates how the public interest would be unavoidably and substantially harmed by compliance with this 10 day rule, provided that policy body as used in this subdivision does not include committees. In the case of negotiations for a contract, lease or other business agreement in which an agency of the City is offering to provide facilities or services in direct competition with other public or private entities that are not required by law to make their competing proposals public or do not in fact make their proposals public, the policy body may postpone public access to the final draft agreement until it is presented to it for approval.

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Public Information as Public Record Oral Communication. (San Francisco)


There is a definition of “Public Information” as the content of “public records” as provided “in an oral communication.” The next SFSO Sec. 67.21. “(a) Every person having custody of any public record or public information” distinguishes between “public record” and “public information” and allows “permit the public record, or any segregable portion of a record, to be inspected and examined by any person and shall furnish one copy thereof”. It seems to suggest that oral communication is also part of the public record. “Public information” appears 18 times in the SFSO.

SFSO Article III, Sec. 67.20 Definitions.
(b) "Public Information" shall mean the content of "public records" as defined in the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6252), whether provided in documentary form or in an oral communication. "Public Information" shall not include "computer software" developed by the City and County of San Francisco as defined in the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6254.9).
SFSO Sec.67.21
(a) Every person having custody of any public record or public information, as defined herein, (hereinafter referred to as a custodian of a public record) shall, at normal times and during normal and reasonable hours of operation, without unreasonable delay, and without requiring an appointment, permit the public record, or any segregable portion of a record, to be inspected and examined by any person and shall furnish one copy thereof upon payment of a reasonable copying charge, not to exceed the lesser of the actual cost or ten cents per page.

Judicial Records and Records of Administrative Proceedings are Exempt


Judicial records are not covered under CPRA. Administrative proceedings are non-judicial determination of fault or wrongdoing and may include, in some cases, penalties of various forms. In government, they are carried out by the legislative branch and military institutions.

CPRA § 6260
“The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed in any manner to affect the status of judicial records as it existed immediately prior to the effective date of this section, nor to affect the rights of litigants, including parties to administrative proceedings, under the laws of discovery of this state, nor to limit or impair any rights of discovery in a criminal case.”

Agency Does Not Need to Know the Reason for a Public Record Request

CPRA § 6257.5: "This chapter does not allow limitations on access to a public record based upon the purpose for which the record is being requested, if the record is otherwise subject to disclosure."

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Any Person can make a Public Record Request

You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or a resident of California to inspect or copy state or local public records. "(W)hen section 6253 declares every person has a right to inspect any public record, when section 6257 commands state and local agencies to make records promptly available to any person on request, and when section 6258 expressly states any person may institute proceedings to enforce the right of inspection, they mean what they say." Connell v. Superior Court, 56 Cal.App.4th 601 (1997)

Where to make a Public Record Request (San Francisco)

This section is located on other webpages:

https://sfneighborhoods.net/gov/govcontact.html

https://sfneighborhoods.net/gov/boardofsupervisors.html

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Forms a Public Record Request Can Take

Verbal

You can make a verbal request in person to view records. You only have to request “records that reasonably describes an identifiable record or records” CPRA 6253 (b). You can state you are making a Public Record Request for clarity whether you are making a verbal request or in any other form.

Written

Written request can be made by e-mail, online form, fax or registered mail. The advantages of a written request are it dates the request, which set response deadline(s). It starts with a paper trail that can be used if there is a dispute for any reason. The requester must either receive copies of the document or be given a written response giving the reason and legal authority for withholding. A written request allows you to give a detailed description of documents you are looking for like type, date range, employees and subject.

SFSO § 67.21
(a) Every person having custody of any public record or public information, as defined herein, (hereinafter referred to as a custodian of a public record) shall, at normal times and during normal and reasonable hours of operation, without unreasonable delay, and without requiring an appointment, permit the public record, or any segregable portion of a record, to be inspected and examined by any person and shall furnish one copy there of upon payment of a reasonable copying charge, not to exceed the lesser of the actual cost or ten cents per page.


California Court of Appeal: "It is clear from the requirements for writings in the same and other provisions of the Act that when the Legislature intended to require a writing, it did so explicitly. The California Public Records Act plainly does not require a written request." Los Angeles Times v. Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, 88 Cai.App.4th 1381 (2001) (California)

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Anonymous Request

People should seriously consider being anonymous, especially if your public record request is controversial or you plan on doing this for a period of time.

Making an anonymous request can be done by checking back at regular intervals. You can also use e-mail address, post office box or a fax service that is not traceable.

MuckRock is a non-profit, collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze, and share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed. You can have an anonymous e-mail address from MuckRock (not free).
https://www.muckrock.com/

When you cannot make an anonymous request:

CPRA requires identification (by a signed affirmation or declaration, respectively):

A. when the requester is seeking information about pesticides (Government Code § 6254.2)

B. seeking the addresses of persons arrested or crime victims (Government Code § 6254, subd. (f), par. (3)).
An agency/ government may not insist that the requester be identified, except for the above.

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Creating a Public Record Request

(California and San Francisco)

The bare minimum legal obligation in creating a Public Record request. You do not need to know a lot to make a request. You only have to request “records that reasonably describes an identifiable record or records” CPRA 6253 (b).

A Public Record Request Template Form can be downloaded here.

For clarity sake, you should be clear you are making a public record request, so include the words "Public Record Request" in the beginning is standard. There is no requirement to use the words “public record request”. The clock starts ticking as soon as you request identifiable records.

There is no legal obligation to do this, but by doing this the person receiving the record cannot claim confusion. It is clear and sets the clock for legally required response (CPRA 6253 (c) and SFSO Sec 67.21(b)). Timeline is discussed below. There is no question if you need to pursue compliance in the future. You have to state as best as you can what records you are searching for. The most used descriptor is around a subject(s) or committee name but can also be or include type of record, employee name(s), date(s), photo(s), video(s), contract, invoices or any other descriptor.

"Unquestionably, public records must be described clearly enough to permit the agency to determine whether writings of the type described in the request are under its control. (The CPRA and SFSO) compels an agency to provide a copy of nonexempt records upon a request 'which reasonably describes an identifiable record, or information produced therefrom . .. ' However, the requirement of clarity must be tempered by the reality that a requester, having no access to agency files, may be unable to precisely identify the documents sought. Thus, writings may be described by their content. The agency must then determine whether it has such writings under its control and the applicability of any exemption. An agency is thus obliged to search for records based on criteria set forth in the search request." California First Amendment Coalition v. Superior Court, 67 Cai.App.4th 159 (1998)

You can also see CPRA 6253.1 and SFSO 67.21 (c).

How you describe the public record request can narrow the number of records you receive or give you an avalanche. You may still get an avalanche even when you think you are making a narrow request. A broader request can give you records that may be of interest but you were not expecting.

You must make the record request to appropriate government department or local agency (see definition above). If you do not make the record request to the appropriate agency, you should get a response that tells you there are no responsive records. The records you are asking for may be found at and the name(s) of the agency. This may or may not happen, but it is suppose too. See "An Agency must Help the Requester Succeed." Below.

You do not have to cite or provide any legal language to your public record request. If you apply the above to your public record request, all applicable laws apply regardless.

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Language you may want to include in a Public Record Request:


If any of the above request is not clear or specific enough, please do not close the request. Please work with me in making my request effective to obtain identifiable records. If you do not have possession of any records requested and believe the records are with another office or person, please assist in directing those requested records to the proper office or staff person. (CPRA 6253.1 and SFSO 67.21 9 (c))
(Of the languages to include I think this is the most important one to remind an agency that they must help you to succeed. They often just want to close a public record request as soon as they can.)

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC, Section 552 / Public Law 104-231, the open records laws in the State of California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250, and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance, San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.1, we respectfully request copies of the above documents from the ______________.

If you consider the responsive documents for any request to be voluminous or duplicative, and/or if you consider it burdensome to produce them all, please so state and provide as many documents as feasible and a list of those documents that you believe are burdensome to produce and why.

If not all the documents can be provided on time, please provide the responsive documents as they become available, rather than waiting for all documents to be ready. (SFSO Sec. 67.25 (d))

All withholding of any information must be justified in writing by specific statutory authority (SFSO 67.27).

Every redaction must be keyed by footnote or by other clear reference to the specific justification for that redaction, and only the minimal exempt portion of any record may be withheld (SFSO 67.26).

You must respond to emailed requests (SFSO 67.21(b)).

You must notify us of whether or not responsive records exist and/or were withheld for each above request (CPRA 6253(c), 6255(b)).

You must state the name and title of each person responsible for withholding any information (CPRA 6253(d)).

Examples of Public Record Request are below.

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An Agency Must Help the Requester Succeed

CPRA § 6253.1 states:
(a) When a member of the public requests to inspect a public record or obtain a copy of a public record, the public agency, in order to assist the member of the public make a focused and effective request that reasonably describes an identifiable record or records, shall do all of the following, to the extent reasonable under the circumstances:
(l) Assist the member of the public to identify records and information that are responsive to the request or to the purpose of the request, if stated.
2) Describe the information technology and physical location in which the records exist.
(3) Provide suggestions for overcoming any practical basis for denying access to the records or information sought.
(b) The requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall be deemed to have been satisfied if the public agency is unable to identify the requested information after making a reasonable effort to elicit additional clarifying information from the requester that will help identify the record or records.

Ask for a Statement of Custodian of Record to Help Narrow a Public Record Request (San Francisco)

In San Francisco, you can ask a custodian of public record can be requested “a statement as to the existence, quantity, form and nature of records relating to a particular subject or questions with enough specificity to enable a requester to identify records in order to make a request under (b).”

You are not required to narrow your request in either CPRA or SFSO.

SFSO § 67.21
(c) A custodian of a public record shall assist a requester in identifying the existence, form, and nature of any records or information maintained by, available to, or in the custody of the custodian, whether or not the contents of those records are exempt from disclosure and shall, when requested to do so, provide in writing within seven days following receipt of a request, a statement as to the existence, quantity, form and nature of records relating to a particular subject or questions with enough specificity to enable a requester to identify records in order to make a request under (b). A custodian of any public record, when not in possession of the record requested, shall assist a requester in directing a request to the proper office or staff person.

San Francisco City Custodian of Records Response Template

This is a city document that has the responses the City Attorney’s office has come up with for custodian of records to denying record or information requests. Sunshine Portal Handbook Template Responses

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Public Record Request Timeline

Timeline for a response to public record request of 10 days or 14 days with a written extension. The 10 to 14 days mean you should get a response about your request and the determination that there are responsive records. There may need to be further determination if any of those records will be exempt from being public.

This means that with most record request the records will be released "promptly" (CPRA §6253 (c)) in 10 to 14 days as little determination is needed that they can be made public. Even if this is not always the case, records should be made public shorty after 10 to 14 days because the person making the determination will have already had to assemble and review the records in order to do so.

There are "unusual circumstances" listed in:

CPRA §6253 (also see SFSO 67.21 (b))

(c) Each agency, upon a request for a copy of records, shall, within 10 days from receipt of the request, determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the person making the request of the determination and the reasons therefor. In unusual circumstances, the time limit prescribed in this section may be extended by written notice by the head of the agency or his or her designee to the person making the request, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more than 14 days. When the agency dispatches the determination, and if the agency determines that the request seeks disclosable public records, the agency shall state the estimated date and time when the records will be made available. As used in this section, "unusual circumstances" means the following, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular request:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request.

(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in a single request.

(3) The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject matter interest therein.

(4) The need to compile data, to write programming language or a computer program, or to construct a computer report to extract data.

(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit an agency to delay or obstruct the inspection or copying of public records. The notification of denial of any request for records required by Section 6255 shall set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial.

(e) Except as otherwise prohibited by law, a state or local agency may adopt requirements for itself that allow for faster, more efficient, or greater access to records than prescribed by the minimum standards set forth in this chapter.

(f) In addition to maintaining public records for public inspection during the office hours of the public agency, a public agency may comply with subdivision (a) by posting any public record on its Internet Web site and, in response to a request for a public record posted on the Internet Web site, directing a member of the public to the location on the Internet Web site where the public record is posted. However, if after the public agency directs a member of the public to the Internet Web site, the member of the public requesting the public record requests a copy of the public record due to an inability to access or reproduce the public record from the Internet Web site, the public agency shall promptly provide a copy of the public record pursuant to subdivision (b).


If records will be released beyond 10 days or the requested 14 days extension, then the agency must state an estimated date and time that the records will be released. Records must be released in a timely manner "promptly" (CPRA §6253 (c)). In addition to the 10 days or 14 days extensions set forth in CPRA § 6253(c), they must refrain from "nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit an agency to delay or obstruct the inspection or copying of public records" (CPRA § 6253(d)). They must "assist the member of the public [to] make a focused and effective request that reasonably describes an identifiable record or records" (CPRA § 6253.1(a)) Or they must "notification of denial of any request for records required by Section 6255 shall set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial" (CPRA § 6253(d)).

Delay cannot be denial.

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Rolling Basis or Rolling Production or Incremental

An agency may state that they will release record on a "rolling basis" or "rolling production". This is away to release record in a timely manner if their estimated date for the release of all records is long. An agency cannot hold all records and release them at the end of the estimated release date of all records.

An example of an incremental or rolling basis statement:

We have conducted a diligent search for records responsive to your request. We have located responsive records, which we have released to you. Due to the need to continue searching, reviewing and redacting records, we will produce any additional responsive records as soon as reasonably possible on an incremental or rolling basis.

SFSO § 67.25
(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of California Law or this ordinance, in response to a request for information describing any category of non-exempt public information, when so requested, the City and County shall produce any and all responsive public records as soon as reasonably possible on an incremental or "rolling" basis such that responsive records are produced as soon as possible by the end of the same business day that they are reviewed and collected. This section is intended to prohibit the withholding of public records that are responsive to a records request until all potentially responsive documents have been reviewed and collected. Failure to comply with this provision is a violation of this Article.

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Immediate Disclosure Request (San Francisco)

SFSO § 67.25
(a) Notwithstanding the 10-day period for response to a request permitted in Government Code Section 6256 and in this Article, a written request for information described in any category of non- exempt public information shall be satisfied no later than the close of business on the day following the day of the request. This deadline shall apply only if the words "Immediate Disclosure Request" are placed across the top of the request and on the envelope, subject line, or cover sheet in which the request is transmitted. Maximum deadlines provided in this article are appropriate for more extensive or demanding requests, but shall not be used to delay fulfilling a simple, routine or otherwise readily answerable request.

Immediate Disclosure Request - Public Record Request Form Template (San Francisco) download click here

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Questions in a Public Record Request

Asking a question in a public record request is not specifically disallowed under California public record law but it is often interpreted by local agencies as making a new record, but CPRA § 6253.1 say
(a) When a member of the public requests to inspect a public record or obtain a copy of a public record, the public agency, in order to assist the member of the public make a focused and effective request that reasonably describes an identifiable record or records, shall do all of the following, to the extent reasonable under the circumstances:
( l) Assist the member of the public to identify records and information that are responsive to the request or to the purpose of the request,

Assisting a member of public to make a focused records request for information that is responsive to the request requires give and take. It cannot be local agencies are the only ones that can ask questions to narrow a record request. Any claim that a member of the public cannot ask a question because it creates a record seems to be some local agency's interpretation of public record laws. It kind of makes it a Jeopardy game show where the public must form their questions as statements. California Civil Code 3528: The law respects form less than substance. may beg to differ on not being able to ask question in order to identify records. This question is legally unsettled whether a question in a public record that is trying narrow a public request can be rejected.

SFSO 67.21 (c) say "…when requested to do so, provide in writing within seven days following receipt of a request, a statement as to the existence, quantity, form and nature of records relating to a particular subject or questions with enough specificity to enable a requester to identify records in order to make a request under (b)"

An example of a question in a Public Record Request changed to a request for records using an "if then statements" that gets the same results.

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This was from a larger public record request. In this part, I am trying to get all records that a specific government employee saw and approved in a contract between the city of San Francisco and a contractor in order for the contractor to get paid. The contract does not specifically name the employee that must approve but there are clues:

"4. Please identify the Program Manager in Appendix C "All deliverables must first be emailed to the Program Manager for approval. The Program Manager's approval email should then be uploaded into the online Total Grant Solution system as the supporting documentation required for invoice submission."

It appears to be DPW, Jonathan Goldberg, GBD Program Manager.

In an email: From: Goldberg, Jonathan (DPW)
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2019 5:21 PM
To: Corgas, Christopher (ECN)

"Yes, I've reviewed the attached deliverables and all seems to address corresponding tasks listed in the grant agreement. Consider it "approved" on my end.

Cheers,
Jonathan
Jonathan Goldberg
Green Benefit District
Program Manager"

In the Contract ID 1000012901
Appendix B--Definition of Grant Plan

City's Team -
Christopher Corgas, Senior Program Manager, OEWD
Jonathan Goldberg, Program Manager, Public Works
Helen Mar, Project Specialist, OEWD

From Contract ID 1000012901 "Appendix C-Invoicing and Payment Instructions
Documentation shall include, but not be limited to, receipts for purchases and expenses incurred, invoices, copies of checks, confirmation of deliverable approval from the Program Manager, and payroll records. Payroll information can be from a payroll service or a payroll ledger from the Grantee's accounting system.

NOTE: All deliverables must first be emailed to the Program Manager for approval. The Program Manager's approval email should then be uploaded into the online Total Grant Solution system as the supporting documentation required for invoice submission."

The response from local agency from which the record request was made:

"A request that a department create a response to a request for information or answer a series of questions is not a public records request, and neither the Public Records Act nor the Sunshine Ordinance requires a department to reply to a series of written interrogatories.
A public records request must specify an identifiable record or set of records that are being sought. Cal. Govt. Code sec. 6253(b). Your request is not sufficiently clear for us to know what record or records you are requesting. Accordingly, it is not possible for us to respond to that portion of your request at this time. You are invited to resubmit a request that more clearly sets forth the record or records you are seeking. In addition, the department is available to assist you in formulating a clearer request. Please feel free to contact us for this purpose."

*They took the "Please identify" as a question and interrogation. (Do not be thrown by word useage.)

Resubmitted Public Record Request

Please provide any record that identifies the Program Manager in Contract ID 1000012901, Appendix C "All deliverables must first be emailed to the Program Manager for approval. The Program Manager's approval email should then be uploaded into the online Total Grant Solution system as the supporting documentation required for invoice submission." and or states this program manager to SF Park Alliance/ Place Labs so that they know who to email for approval of all deliverables.

If the approval program manager is a person in Public Works, then please provide all approval e-mails in "The Program Manager's approval email should then be uploaded into the online Total Grant Solution system as the supporting documentation required for invoice submission." Contract ID 1000012901, Appendix C.

You can use a series of "if then statements" to narrow it down if there are a number of people (or other subject) in question. You can also use "and" and "or" in conjunction with "if then" to make more complicated statements.

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Public Record Request of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance Task Force

San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (SOTF) is like any other committee in San Francisco and must follow the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance and state public access laws. There a few other things to note about making a public records request with SOTF.

SFSO § 67.21
(i)… All communications with the City Attorney's Office with regard to this ordinance, including petitions, requests for opinion, and opinions shall be public records.

Any communication/advise with SOTF City Attorney’s that are used to by SOTF members to make a decision on a complaint or to hear a complaint should be public. Decisions are supposed to be made in full view of the public.

"official information privilege allows a public official or public agency to withhold information submitted to them in confidence, until and unless it has been expressly relied upon in making of a decision, if the public interest in such secrecy outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” San Gabriel Valley Tribune v. Superior Court (1983).

This would follow along the same line of reasoning of Sunshine Ordinance Sec. 67.21 (i) on the City Attorney’s Office’s communications.

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Delay, Denial, Obstruction and Withholding

Exemption Information and Records are Not Prohibited from Being Disclosed

The first thing a requester of public records should know that most exemption information and records are not prohibited from being disclosed by CPRA or SFSO. CPRA § 6254 says Except as provided in Sections 6254.7 and 6254.13, this chapter does not *require* the disclosure of any of the following records:(than a long list). "Require" meaning the government has discretion on disclosure. CPRA § 6254 is often miscited as an absolute.

The fact that many records are discretionary disclosure in CPRA § 6254 you have CPRA § 6253 (d) "The notification of denial of any request for records required by Section 6255 shall set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial." to identify the person(s) responsible for this discretionary decision.

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The Agency has the Burden of Justifying the Denial of Access

CPRA § 6211
(a) The agency shall justify withholding any record by demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under express provisions of this chapter or that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.
(b) A response to a written request for inspection or copies of public records that includes a determination that the request is denied, in whole or in part, shall be in writing.

"In other words, all public records are subject to disclosure unless the Legislature has expressly provided to the contrary." Williams v. Superior Court, 5 Cal. 4 111 337 (1993)

CPRA § 6253
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit an agency to delay or obstruct the inspection or copying of public records. The notification of denial of any request for records required by Section 6255 shall set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial.

SFSO § 67.26 WITHHOLDING KEPT TO A MINIMUM
No record shall be withheld from disclosure in its entirety unless all information contained in it is exempt from disclosure under express provisions of the California Public Records Act or of some other statute. Information that is exempt from disclosure shall be masked, deleted or otherwise segregated in order that the nonexempt portion of a requested record may be released, and keyed by footnote or other clear reference to the appropriate justification for withholding required by Section 67.27 of this Article. This work shall be done personally by the attorney or other staff member conducting the exemption review. The work of responding to a public-records request and preparing documents for disclosure shall be considered part of the regular work duties of any City employee, and no fee shall be charged to the requester to cover the personnel costs of responding to a records request.

SFSO § 67.27 JUSTIFICATION OF WITHHOLDING Any withholding of information shall be justified, in writing, as follows:
(a) A withholding under a specific permissive exemption in the California Public Records Act, or elsewhere, which permissive exemption is not forbidden to be asserted by this ordinance, shall cite that authority.

(b) A withholding on the basis that disclosure is prohibited by law shall cite the specific statutory authority in the Public Records Act or elsewhere.

(c) A withholding on the basis that disclosure would incur civil or criminal liability shall cite any specific statutory or case law, or any other public agency's litigation experience, supporting that position.

(d) When a record being requested contains information, most of which is exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act and this Article, the custodian shall inform the requester of the nature and extent of the nonexempt information and suggest alternative sources for the information requested, if available.

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Redaction, Partial Withholding of a Record

Any non-exempt part of a record must be made disclosed after any exempt information has been segregated (redacted, removed or obliterated).

CPRA § 6253
(a) Public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency and every person has a right to inspect any public record, except as hereafter provided. Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be available for inspection by any person requesting the record after deletion of the portions that are exempted by law.

SFSO § 67.21
(a) "Every person having custody of any public record or public information, as defined herein, (hereinafter referred to as a custodian of a public record) shall, at normal times and during normal and reasonable hours of operation, without unreasonable delay, and without requiring an appointment, permit the public record, or any *segregable portion of a record*, to be inspected and examined by any person and shall furnish one copy…..

See above CPRA § 6211 (b)… the request is denied, in whole or in part, shall be in writing

You may not get a record if "inextricably intertwined" Northern California Police Practices Project v. Craig, 90 Cal. App. 3d 116 (1979), that the public and confidential material are tightly interwoven.

Or "marginal and speculative" American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California Inc. v. Deukmejian, 32 Cal. 3d 440 (1982), of which multiple redactions applied to a number of requested records would leave little substantive information relevant to the requester's purpose.

The above two cases are debatable to the extent of redaction and purpose of the requester.

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Examples of withholding statements:

Due to privacy concerns, personal information, such as personal phone numbers, cell numbers and email addresses, has been redacted from the documents that we are making available to you. We redacted this personal information pursuant to Section 6254(c) and Section 6254(k) of the California Public Records Act and Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution.

We have withheld records responsive to your request [and/or redacted parts of the records provided in response to your request] per California Evidence Code 1040.

We have withheld records responsive to your request [and/or redacted parts of the records provided in response to your request] that constitute private personnel records of a City employee. Cal. Govt. Code Secs. 6254(c), 6254(k); California Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 1.

We have withheld records responsive to your request [and/or redacted parts of the records provided in response to your request] on the basis of the attorney-client privilege and/or because the records contain the work product of an attorney representing the City. Cal. Govt. Code Secs. 6254(k), 6276.04; Cal. Evid. Code Sec. 950 et seq. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. Sec. 2018.030, 2018.030(a).

We have withheld records responsive to your request [and/or redacted parts of the records provided in response to your request] on the basis that the information contained may reveal vulnerabilities to, or otherwise increase the potential for an attack on, an information technology system of a public agency. (Cal. Govt. Code 6254.19 1 (33) 2 (12))

Evidence means an investigation or possible litigation is the reason the records requested are being held.

Attorney-Client Privilege Witholding

Denial of public records because of attorney-client privilege only goes to records of attorney(s) for the local government agency. If a record or part of a record has been made public or has been shown to other citizens other than the local government agency employees, then it may be a public record and no longer has attorney-client privilege. A local government agency cannot pick and choose which citizens it choose to disclose records too. If only some of the information on a record has been shown to the public than the other parts of the record that are covered under attorney-client privilege, the record(s) can be redacted.

Attorney-Client privilege confidentiality is confidential until "official information privilege allows a public official or public agengy to withhold information submitted to them in confidence, until and unless it has been expressly relied upon in making of a decision, if the public interest in such secrecy outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” San Gabriel Valley Tribune v. Superior Court (1983).

This is a case-by-case basis and goes down to whether an individual on a committtee, task force, etc. relied on privileged information to make a decision on their vote. The line between attorney-client privilege and other privileged information in a government setting has yet to be resolved.

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Refusal or Non-Compliance of an Agency to Your Request

You may wish to write back following up on your request to do two things: first, inform them why you believe their refusal to respond to your request in writing, and failure to disclose records responsive to your request is in violation of the CPRA, and second, remind them that, under CPRA § 6259(d), they will be responsible for paying your attorney's fees should you be forced to sue to enforce your right to inspect the records you seek and win.

If you get continued resistance to your public record request you will need to take it to the next step which depends on what you have available to you.

Supervisor of Records


If you have city administer, city attorney's office or "supervisor of record" you can petition them.

San Francisco Supervisor of Records Contact Information

supervisor.records@SFCITYATTY.ORG

Deputy City Attorney
Office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera (or whoever is the CA)
City Hall, Room 234
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl., San Francisco, CA 94102
www.sfcityattorney.org

Supervisor of Records Petition Template: https://sfneighborhoods.net/sunshine/doc/supervisor_of_records_petition.docx

SFSO 67.21
(d) If the custodian refuses, fails to comply, or incompletely complies with a request described in (b), the person making the request may petition the supervisor of records for a determination whether the record requested is public. The supervisor of records shall inform the petitioner, as soon as possible and within 10 days, of its determination whether the record requested, or any part of the record requested, is public. Where requested by the petition, and where otherwise desirable, this determination shall be in writing. Upon the determination by the supervisor of records that the record is public, the supervisor of records shall immediately order the custodian of the public record to comply with the person's request. If the custodian refuses or fails to comply with any such order within 5 days, the supervisor of records shall notify the district attorney or the attorney general who shall take whatever measures she or he deems necessary and appropriate to insure compliance with the provisions of this ordinance.

Sunshine Ordinance Task Force


If you have a Sunshine Task Force you can ask them to intervene before you make a complaint to them.

SFSO Sec. 67.31
The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall provide a full-time staff person to perform administrative duties for the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and to assist any person in gaining access to public meetings or public information.”

SFSO 67.21
(e) If the custodian refuses, fails to comply, or incompletely complies with a request described in (b) above or if a petition is denied or not acted on by the supervisor of public records, the person making the request may petition the Sunshine Task Force for a determination whether the record requested is public. The Sunshine Task Force shall inform the petitioner, as soon as possible and within 2 days after its next meeting but in no case later than 45 days from when a petition in writing is received, of its determination whether the record requested, or any part of the record requested, is public. Where requested by the petition, and where otherwise desirable, this determination shall be in writing. Upon the determination that the record is public, the Sunshine Task Force shall immediately order the custodian of the public record to comply with the person's request. If the custodian refuses or fails to comply with any such order within 5 days, the Sunshine Task Force shall notify the district attorney or the attorney general who may take whatever measures she or he deems necessary to insure compliance with the provisions of this ordinance. The Board of Supervisors and the City Attorney's office shall provide sufficient staff and resources to allow the Sunshine Task Force to fulfill its duties under this provision. Where requested by the petition, the Sunshine Task Force may conduct a public hearing concerning the records request denial. An authorized representative of the custodian of the public records requested shall attend any hearing and explain the basis for its decision to withhold the records requested.

or your county superior court.

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Investigative Withholding (Police other investigative matters)

(This section is under development and not conclusive.)

The facts of an investigation cannot be withheld, but the investigative files may be withheld.

"Goverment code § 6254, subd. (f) applies to records that "encompass only those investigations undertaken for the purpose of determining whether a violation of law may occur or has occurred. If a violation or potential violation is detected, the exemption also extends to records of investigations conducted for the purpose of uncovering information surrounding the commission of the violation and its agency." Haynie v. Superior Court, 26 Cal.4th 1061 (2001)

Video

CPRA § 6254
(B) (i) If the agency demonstrates, on the facts of the particular case, that the public interest in withholding a video or audio recording clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure because the release of the recording would, based on the facts and circumstances depicted in the recording, violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of a subject depicted in the recording, the agency shall provide in writing to the requester the specific basis for the expectation of privacy and the public interest served by withholding the recording and may use redaction technology, including blurring or distorting images or audio, to obscure those specific portions of the recording that protect that interest. However, the redaction shall not interfere with the viewer's ability to fully, completely, and accurately comprehend the events captured in the recording and the recording shall not otherwise be edited or altered.
(ii) Except as provided in clause (iii), if the agency demonstrates that the reasonable expectation of privacy of a subject depicted in the recording cannot adequately be protected through redaction as described in clause (i) and that interest outweighs the public interest in disclosure, the agency may withhold the recording from the public, except that the recording, either redacted as provided in clause (i) or unredacted, shall be disclosed promptly, upon request, to any of the following:
(I) The subject of the recording whose privacy is to be protected, or his or her authorized representative.
(II) If the subject is a minor, the parent or legal guardian of the subject whose privacy is to be protected.
(III) If the subject whose privacy is to be protected is deceased, an heir, beneficiary, designated immediate family member, or authorized legal representative of the deceased subject whose privacy is to be protected.
(iii) If disclosure pursuant to clause (ii) would substantially interfere with an active criminal or administrative investigation, the agency shall provide in writing to the requester the specific basis for the agency's determination that disclosure would substantially interfere with the investigation, and provide the video or audio recording. Thereafter, the recording may be withheld by the agency for 45 calendar days, subject to extensions as set forth in clause (ii) of subparagraph (A).


CPRA § 6254.5
(a) This chapter does not require disclosure of a video or audio recording that was created during the commission or investigation of the crime of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse that depicts the face, intimate body part, or voice of a victim of the incident depicted in the recording. An agency shall justify withholding such a video or audio recording by demonstrating, pursuant to Section 6255, that on the facts of the particular case, the public interest served by not disclosing the recording clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the recording.
(b) When balancing the public interests as required by this section, an agency shall consider both of the following:
(1) The constitutional right to privacy of the person or persons depicted in the recording.
(2) Whether the potential harm to the victim caused by disclosing the recording may be mitigated by redacting the recording to obscure images showing intimate body parts and personally identifying characteristics of the victim or by distorting portions of the recording containing the victim's voice, provided that the redaction does not prevent a viewer from being able to fully and accurately perceive the events captured on the recording. The recording shall not otherwise be edited or altered.
(c) A victim of a crime described in subdivision (a) who is a subject of a recording, the parent or legal guardian of a minor subject, a deceased subject's next of kin, or a subject's legally authorized designee, shall be permitted to inspect the recording and to obtain a copy of the recording. Disclosure under this subdivision does not require that the record be made available to the public pursuant to Section 6254.5.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any other exemption provided by this chapter.

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Examples of Public Record Requests

In the actual examples below, I give more complicated examples. Yours does not have to be.

First Amendment Coalition Sample CPRA Request Letter

https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/sample-cpra-request-letter/

Sunshine Ordinance Task Force Public Records Request Form

https://sfgov.org/sunshine/public-records-request-form

This first public record request is simple on the face of it, but shows and example of using description instead of naming a record. Instead of asking outright for an organizational chart, it describes an organizational chart or any records that show relationship of employees at a department. If you ask for an organizational chart of a department, then that is what you will get. If you describe an organizational chart, you may get other records that show employee relationship to one another.

PUBLIC RECORD REQUEST

Please provide records that show job and employee hierarchy and relationship at the Department of Public Works.

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The next example is from Request #18-1857

https://sanfrancisco.nextrequest.com/requests/18-1857#

PUBLIC RECORD REQUEST

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, California Government Code Section 6250ff, and the SF Sunshine Ordinance (Chapter 67 of the SF Admin. Code) this is to request that you produce, on or before close of business June 27, 2018, all public records, as defined in Gov. Code Section 6252 (c) and (e), including correspondence (including but not limited to letters, e-mails, and text messages), contracts, agreements, mailing lists, surveys and online surveys, responses to surveys and online surveys, budgets, expenditures, and memoranda (including all methods of transcription) memorializing, describing, or otherwise relating to the planning for, public interest and/or opinion surveying for, expenditure of public funds for, organization, and/or formation of a possible Green Benefit District in and around the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco, including but not limited to Buena Vista Park, and including but not limited to a group or entity sometimes called the Greater Buena Vista Green Benefit District (GBVGBD), from January 1, 2017 to the present.

The California Public Records Act declares that “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state” (Section 6250), and for that reason is to be construed liberally in favor of disclosure of public records. Cal. Const., art. I, § 3, subd. (b)(2). The California Supreme Court has recently held that this liberal construction of the Public Records Act reaches records in a public agency’s constructive possession or control, including documents in an employee’s personal computer City of San Jose vs. Superior Court of Santa Clara County (2017) 2 Cal.5th 608, 389 P.3rd 848, 214 Cal.Rptr.3d 274 , and those held by a public agency’s contractor or consultant. Community Youth Athletic Center v. City of National City (4th Dist., 2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 1385, 1426, 1428–1429.

In this case, the San Francisco Departments of Public Works, Recreation and Park Dept, OEWD, et al. have obligations to produce documents fitting the foregoing descriptions – even if they might have a different caption, and even if the documents are being held by Build Public/Place Lab, San Francisco Parks Alliance, the Greater Buena Vista Green Benefit District (GBVGBD, Urban Resource Systems or another of the Departments’ contractors, consultants, or agents. As the Court of Appeal found in the Community Youth Athletic Center case, the public agencies – in this case, the San Francisco Public Works, Recreation and Park Departments, OEWD et al.– have an obligation to obtain the requested documents from its contractor and/or consultant, and make the documents available to the requesting party. On this point, the Public Records Act provides that “A state or local agency may not allow another party to control the disclosure of information that is otherwise subject to disclosure pursuant to this chapter.” (Govt.C. 6253.3).

Accordingly, this is to request that the above-described documents – wherever they may physically be located, whether in a city office or computer or in the hands of employees of Place Lab, San Francisco Parks Alliance, GBVGBD, Urban Resource Systems or another of the City’s consultants, agents or contractors -- be made available to me by close of business, June 27, 2018.

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The below is a good example of a listed public record request.


IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUESTS

PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC, Section 552 / Public Law 104-231, the open records laws in the State of California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250, and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance, San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.1, we respectfully request copies of the following documents from the San Francisco Department of Public Works:

For purposes of this request:

Any reference to Sunset Boulevard shall include the medians and parkways immediately adjacent thereto and will be referred to as “Sunset Blvd."

“Documents” shall include, but are not limited to, any document, presentation, report, written research, analysis, estimate, plan, survey, agreements and contracts with outside contractors and consultants, recommendations and presentations from consultants, board agendas, board materials, council materials, advisory committee materials, and audio, video or written transcripts of agenda items where Sunset Blvd was discussed.

SUBJECT OR ITEM REQUESTED:

1. Provide a copy of any city, state or federal law or ordinance prohibiting the San Francisco Department of Public Works from watering trees.

2. Provide documentation, if any, of the approval from the Director of San Francisco Department of Public Works or other authorized agent to discontinue watering mature established trees on Sunset Blvd.

3. Are the Sunset Blvd established trees under stress from age, years of drought, canker, borer and thrip infestations? Does lack of sufficient water cause trees to become more susceptible to disease and insect infestation?

4. Is not watering Sunset Blvd trees in compliance with Department of Public Works, Article 16 Urban Forestry Ordinance Section 802, which states that maintenance includes “all actions necessary to promote the life, growth, health or beauty of a tree” and “adequate watering to ensure a tree’s growth and sustainability?”

5. Provide written documentation with verification that routine maintenance has been conducted on Sunset Blvd. for the past five (5) years. Did employees carry out the task as scheduled?

6. Provide the watering schedule for both young and established trees on Sunset Blvd. for the past five (5) years. Did employees carry out the task as scheduled?

7. Sunset Blvd. is designated as an existing Open Space as identified by the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department (see “An Element of the San Francesco General Plan Recreation and Open Spaces, Adopted April 2014” - Map 01, Page 3 and “Enhancing Existing Parkways” Page 38). As an Open Space, are there any plans to transfer the authorized authority for Sunset Blvd landscape and tree maintenance to Recreation and Parks? If so, when will that transition take place? Provide any supporting documents.

8. Sunset Blvd, Park Presidio Blvd and the Panhandle are all major transportation corridors and parkways with similar open space, design, and plant life. Why are they managed by two separate city departments with different maintenance and irrigation policies?

9. The San Francisco General Plan adopted in 2014, specifically identified Sunset Blvd. as a significant parkway requiring preservation, improved care, and enhancement. How is the Department of Public Work’s decision to stop watering Sunset Blvd preserving, improving and enhancing the green space areas in District 4 of San Francisco? Provide any supporting documents.

10. In accordance with Department of Public Works, Article 16 Urban Forestry Ordinance, Section 808(a) and (b), it is unlawful to intentionally, maliciously or through gross negligence injure or destroy a street tree. How does a failure to water trees, especially during times of drought, not constitute gross negligence?

11. Is there a general city policy for best watering practices for designated green open spaces? If so, provide a copy of the policy and any supporting documents.

12. Provide any documents from Consultants and Advisory Committees/Boards/Councils about best watering practices, watering recommendations and watering systems for Sunset Blvd.

13. Provide a copy of any report, presentation and documentation relating to the condition, maintenance or repairs of the Sunset Blvd. irrigation and watering system in the past five (5) years.

14. Provide a copy of any cost analysis to repair the irrigation watering system on Sunset Blvd. Was the repair cost included in the current budget? If not, will the cost be included in the next fiscal budget?

15. Provide a copy of any analysis, report and budget that breaks down the cost of manually watering Sunset Blvd trees on a fiscal year basis for the past five (5) years.

16. Provide a copy of the Urban Forest Plan Street Tree Census for the City and County of San Francisco along with any report, agenda item, or presentation containing the census.

17. Provide a list of all trees on Sunset Blvd. along with documentation of the current health condition of each tree.

18. Provide a list of new trees planted on Sunset Blvd. in the past five (5) years and provide a map of their location.

19. Provide all documents relating to proposed new landscape and tree planting on Sunset Blvd. for the years 2016 - 2022, and provide a timeline for installation for each individual block of Sunset Blvd. (e.g. block between Judah and Irving installation of XXX tree/shrub/plant on XXX date).

20. Provide any documents relating to irrigation plans for new trees on Sunset Blvd. How will they be watered, manually or by irrigation?

21. Why was Sunset Blvd. excluded from participation in the Reclaimed Water Use ordinance? Provide any document pertaining to the decision-making process (for or against) “Reclaimed Water Use” for Sunset Blvd.

22. Can Article 22: Reclaimed Water Use, of the San Francisco Department of Public Works Code be amended to add Sunset Blvd., specifically the addition to “Section 1209. Reclaimed Water Use Map Designation”? If so, who is responsible for drafting and presenting the amendment of the ordinance to the Board of Supervisors for adoption?

23. The rain gardens are supposed to collect rain and storm runoff. Is there a contingency plan for watering Sunset Blvd when there isn’t sufficient rain to collect? Provide a copy of the contingency plan and supporting documents.

24. What plans are in place for supplemental watering of trees and landscape during times of drought? Provide a copy of the plan and supporting documents.

25. Please provide any documents relating to fog catching technology or any other alternative water collecting or recycling technology being considered for Sunset Blvd. If there have been recommendations from outside consultants, please produce them.

26. Please provide a list of any consultants that are providing information relating to Sunset Blvd, their function and duty for the past five (5) years.

27. Provide a list and the location of the trees removed from Sunset Blvd. in the past five (5) years.

28. Provide copies of any notices relating to “Removal of Street Trees” that were published, posted and/or sent to owners and occupants of properties that are on or across from the block face where the affected tree was removed on Sunset Blvd. in the past five (5) years. Confirm letters were sent 30 days prior to removal of the trees in accordance with the San Francisco Department of Public Works Codes, Article 16, Section 806(a)(2)(B). Provide a copy of any objections or appeals to the removal of any tree.

29. Were any healthy trees removed for installation of the Open-Air exercise stations? If so, please identify each tree that was removed, their species and the location of the removal.

30. Were any healthy trees removed for the rain garden project? If so, please identify each tree that was removed, their species and the location of the removal.

31. Were adjacent neighbors provided notice of the tree removals for the Open-Air Exercise Stations and rain gardens? If so, please provide copies of the notifications.

32. Provide copies of the San Francisco Department of Public Works Annual Budget for the past five (5) fiscal years, including any proposed budget that has been presented to any board or council for consideration for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

33. Provide a copy of the detailed budget and breakdown by line item for the Urban Forestry division of the San Francisco Department of Public Works for the past five (5) fiscal years, and any proposed budget that has been presented to any board or council for consideration for the 2018-2019 fiscal years.

34. Provide copies of the San Francisco Department of Public Works Annual Budget for the past five (5) fiscal years, specifically, line items that pertain to Sunset Blvd. or Green Projects affecting Sunset Blvd.

35. How much money has been allocated to each of the eleven districts within San Francisco for the Urban Forestry Division Department of Public Works for the past five (5) years?

36. What is the cost of the Sunset Greenway project from inception to August 29, 2018? What are the estimated costs to complete the project? Are those costs listed as a separate line item in the 2017-2018 budget, and 2018-2019 proposed budget?

37. What is the cost to date for planting the succulents in the medians of Sunset Blvd.? What are the estimated costs to complete the project? Are those costs listed as a separate line item in the 2017-2018 budget, and 2018-2019 proposed budget?

38. Please provide us with the actual costs associated with the installation of the Open-Air Exercise Stations on Sunset Blvd?

39. Provide the Job Classification Number and Title of the Urban Forestry Superintendent, and provide a copy of the job description.

40. Provide the number of employees that report to the Urban Forestry Superintendent of San Francisco Public Works for the last five (5) years.

41. Provide a list of all existing and current job classifications that report to directly to the Urban Forestry Superintendent of San Francisco Public Works. How many of these positions are filled as of August 29, 2018?

42. How many employees are designated for Sunset Blvd.? What are their job titles, job descriptions and classifications?

43. Provide a copy of the routine schedule for trash cleanup along Sunset Blvd.?

44. Does the Department of Public Works have a policy relating to fire prevention as it relates to existing landscape and trees in San Francisco? If so, provide a copy of the policy and supporting documents.

45. Is there a strategic plan for Sunset Blvd. If so, please provide a copy of the plan.

46. Is there a schedule to repair the damaged cement pedestrian walkways in order to comply with ADA Rules and Regulations? Please provide any documents.

47. Are their plans to modify or improve pathways along Sunset Blvd? If so, please provide any documents.

48. Provide a copy of any documents relating to Sunset Blvd and the WalkFirst project. Was Sunset Blvd considered for inclusion in this project? If not, why was it excluded?

49. Provide a copy of any documents relating to Sunset Blvd and the Green Connections project. Was Sunset Blvd considered for inclusion in this project? If not, why was it excluded?

50. Provide a copy of any written recommendations by the appointed gardener to improve Sunset Blvd.

51. San Francisco’s General Plan promotes green open spaces to improve resident’s physical and mental health, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gasses. How is it not discrimination to provide lush green open spaces on Park Presidio, Panhandle, Masonic, Octavia and other major corridors throughout the city, and exclude Sunset Blvd in District 4.

Please provide all documents electronically, on a thumb drive, cd-rom or via email in PDF format.

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https://www.muckrock.com/foi/san-francisco-141/text-and-chat-messages-immediate-disclosure-request-san-francisco-universal-search-dph-105584/

Subject: California Public Records Act Request: Text and Chat Messages - Immediate Disclosure Request - San Francisco Universal Search (DPH) Mail

To Department of Public Health and its Department Head or Elected Official:

** DO NOT DESTROY ANY RESPONSIVE RECORDS. YOU MUST PRESERVE AND ORDER YOUR EMPLOYEES TO PRESERVE RECORDS DURING THE PENDENCY OF ALL APPEALS. WE WILL APPEAL ALL REDACTIONS OR WITHHOLDINGS. ** Immediate Disclosure Request.

Every department head/elected official must preserve and maintain all correspondence in a professional and businesslike manner (SFAC 67.29-7(a)) and also separately must comply with retention policies (SFAC 67.29-1). Note that if your retention policies do not retain text messages, I will argue before the SOTF and court that this is a failure to maintain **all correspondence** in a professional and businesslike manner.

Relevant precedent: SOTF 19098 - Anonymous v SFPD. Unanimous finding of violation for unlawfully withholding text message metadata (including the to/from/etc. - note SFPD had provided the dates and times, and you must as well), and also for unlawfully printing and scanning electronic records which does not constitute a "copy" of an electronic record.

See also prior rulings in my favor in SOTF 19044, 19047, 19091, 19098, 19103, and 19108 which ruled against the City for email, text messages, past and future calendar entries, meeting details, electronic metadata, and attachments.

The Mayor's Office appears to have destroyed their copies of certain text messages. I'd be happy to get them from her, if she preserved every record. Alas she did not, therefore we must now conduct a universal search of the City. You cannot refer me to another department unless you search and determine that you have no copies in your department. If this is causing more work for you, ask your Mayor to stop destroying her public records.

Note there are many anonymous requesters using MuckRock - I am just one of them. If you previously produced some subset of these records to a MuckRock email address, please reference that prior response so you do not duplicate work. If I am unable to get the prior MuckRock response because it is someone else's and they have marked it private, you will however need to provide me a copy here as well.

1. This is an immediate disclosure request for text, chat, or instant messages between Grant Colfax and either Sean Elsbernd, Andrea Bruss, London Breed, Harlan Kelly, Jr., Naomi Kelly, Hank Heckel, or Walter Wong, including all group messages, and all messages in threads, in any form and any app (including, but not limited to, SMS, MMS, text, iMessage, Teams, Discord, WeChat, QQ, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Hangouts, Meet, Slack, Skype, Viber, Snapchat, Line, Kik, FaceTime, Wickr Me, Chatroulette, Threema, KakaoTalk, Duo, GroupMe, Wire, Voxer, Allo, Tango, Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, Olive, Taimi, but NOT including email), on any government accounts/devices or on personal accounts or devices regarding the conduct of public business, including all participant names, message text, images, attachments, dates, and times, including any in trash or deleted folders or similar (see Good Government Guide - if the records have not been permanently deleted as of the time you receive this request, you must retrieve them from the so-called trash folders and provide them). Provide rolling responses. Provide exact copies including all metadata. There is no limitation by subject or date. If the total pages to produce numbers over 500, inform me of the rough dates, employees involved, and subject matter, and I may be willing to narrow the initial production, AS LONG AS YOU PRESERVE ALL THE RECORDS.

2. This is an immediate disclosure request for text, chat, or instant messages between Tomas Aragon and either Sean Elsbernd, Andrea Bruss, London Breed, Harlan Kelly, Jr., Naomi Kelly, Hank Heckel, or Walter Wong, including all group messages, and all messages in threads, in any form and any app (including, but not limited to, SMS, MMS, text, iMessage, Teams, Discord, WeChat, QQ, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Hangouts, Meet, Slack, Skype, Viber, Snapchat, Line, Kik, FaceTime, Wickr Me, Chatroulette, Threema, KakaoTalk, Duo, GroupMe, Wire, Voxer, Allo, Tango, Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, Olive, Taimi, but NOT including email), on any government accounts/devices or on personal accounts or devices regarding the conduct of public business, including all participant names, message text, images, attachments, dates, and times, including any in trash or deleted folders or similar (see Good Government Guide - if the records have not been permanently deleted as of the time you receive this request, you must retrieve them from the so-called trash folders and provide them). Provide rolling responses. Provide exact copies including all metadata. There is no limitation by subject or date. If the total pages to produce numbers over 500, inform me of the rough dates, employees involved, and subject matter, and I may be willing to narrow the initial production, AS LONG AS YOU PRESERVE ALL THE RECORDS.

3. This is a regular records request for text, chat, or instant messages between the other dept employees (not Colfax or Aragon) and either Sean Elsbernd, Andrea Bruss, London Breed, Harlan Kelly, Jr., Naomi Kelly, Hank Heckel, or Walter Wong, including all group messages, and all messages in threads, in any form and any app (including, but not limited to, SMS, MMS, text, iMessage, Teams, Discord, WeChat, QQ, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Hangouts, Meet, Slack, Skype, Viber, Snapchat, Line, Kik, FaceTime, Wickr Me, Chatroulette, Threema, KakaoTalk, Duo, GroupMe, Wire, Voxer, Allo, Tango, Bumble, Grindr, Tinder, Olive, Taimi, but NOT including email), on any government accounts/devices or on personal accounts or devices regarding the conduct of public business, including all participant names, message text, images, attachments, dates, and times, including any in trash or deleted folders or similar (see Good Government Guide - if the records have not been permanently deleted as of the time you receive this request, you must retrieve them from the so-called trash folders and provide them). Provide rolling responses. Provide exact copies including all metadata. There is no limitation by subject or date. If the total pages to produce numbers over 500, inform me of the rough dates, employees involved, and subject matter, and I may be willing to narrow the initial production, AS LONG AS YOU PRESERVE ALL THE RECORDS.

Please provide only those copies of records available without any fees. If you determine certain records would require fees, please instead provide the required notice of which of those records are available and non-exempt for inspection in-person if we so choose.

Your non-exhaustive obligations:

- All withholding of any information must be justified in writing by specific statutory authority (SFAC 67.27).

- Every redaction must be keyed by footnote or by other clear reference to the specific justification for that redaction, and only the minimal exempt portion of any record may be withheld (SFAC 67.26).

- You must respond to emailed requests (SFAC 67.21(b)).

- You must notify us of whether or not responsive records exist and/or were withheld for each above request (Gov Code 6253(c), 6255(b)).

- You must state the name and title of each person responsible for withholding any information (Gov Code 6253(d)).

- Do not impose any end-user restrictions upon me (Santa Clara Co. vs Superior Ct, 170 Cal.App 4th 1301); so if you use a third-party website to publish records, please make them completely public without any login or sign-in.


Your agency must do all of the above things in your response, and you cannot wait until we file complaints.

****** We have no duty to, and we will not again, remind the City of its obligations. Instead, we will file complaints for every Sunshine Ordinance or CPRA violation. We will continue to file complaints until the City's procedures are modified to fully comply with the Sunshine Ordinance and CPRA, without caveat or exception. ******

I look forward to your lawful response.

NOTE: THE EMAIL ADDRESS SENDING THIS REQUEST IS A PUBLICLY-VIEWABLE MAILBOX. Please be certain you have properly redacted all of your responses. Once you send them to us, there is no going back. All of your responses (including all responsive records) may be instantly and automatically available to the public online via the MuckRock.com FOIA service used to issue this request (though the requester is an anonymous user, not a representative of MuckRock). Nothing herein is legal, IT, or professional advice of any kind. The author disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to all warranties of merchantability or fitness. In no event shall the author be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or any other damages whatsoever. The digital signature, if any, in this email is not an indication of a binding agreement or offer; it merely authenticates the sender. Please do not include any confidential information, as I intend that these communications with the City all be disclosable public records.

Sincerely,
Anonymous

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Links to California Public Access Laws


CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE I – DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, Section 3.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CONS§ionNum=SEC.%203.&article=I


Ralph M. Brown Act (the Brown Act)
TITLE 5., DIVISION 2., PART 1., CHAPTER 9. Meetings [54950 - 54963]

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&division=2.&title=5.&part=1.&chapter=9.&article=


California Public Records Act (CPRA)
TITLE 1., DIVISION 7., CHAPTER 3.5. Inspection of Public Records [6250 - 6276.48]

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?division=7.&chapter=3.5.&lawCode=GOV&title=1.&article=1.


CHAPTER 67: THE SAN FRANCISCO SUNSHINE ORDINANCE OF 1999 (San Francisco)

https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/san_francisco/latest/sf_admin/0-0-0-19477


CHAPTER 12L: PUBLIC ACCESS TO RECORDS AND MEETINGS OF NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (San Francisco)

https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/san_francisco/latest/sf_admin/0-0-0-7977


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