Friday, November 20, 2009

City Surveillance Cameras and California Public Records Law

Are city-owned and operated surveillance camera recordings of public areas subject to disclosure in accordance with the California Public Records Law?

A: Under the Public Records Act, public records — which 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,” Gov’t Code section 6252(e) — are presumed to be open to the public and must be disclosed unless a specific provision of the Act or other law exempts them from disclosure...

If they are not “records of intelligence information or security procedures of” the police department, but rather tapes that are maintained by some other city agency, then it would seem that you should have access to the video recordings regardless of their purpose. If they are maintained by the city police department, you should still have access to any portions of those videotapes that were not specifically created for or used as part of an investigation. Read more

Location Oakland, Ca - Private Investigator