In balancing the public’s right to access public records with the recognized individual right of privacy and the need for government agencies to be able to competently perform their duties, the Legislature has established certain categories of records as exempt from public disclosure.
A complete list of statutory exemptions is found in the Public Records Act, Government Code Section 7921.000 et seq. Exemption categories include some of the following:
- Preliminary drafts, notes, or inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda which are not retained by the City in the ordinary course of business, provided that the public interest in withholding such records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;
- Records pertaining to pending litigation to which the City is a party, or to claims made pursuant to Government Code Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled;
- Personnel, medical, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
- Trade secrets as defined in Government Code Section 7924.305(f) except as required by law.
- Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment, or academic examination;
- Records of which the disclosure is exempt or prohibited pursuant to provisions of federal or state law, including, but not limited to, provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege.
The City also has the discretion not to disclose records that do not qualify for a specific exemption under the Public Records Act if it determines that the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure, pursuant to Government Code Section 7922.000. The City’s determination to disclose a particular record, which may otherwise be exempt from disclosure, does not constitute a waiver with respect to any other records. Please note that you will be notified if a determination is made to deny access to records and why.