2005 California Government Code Sections 9070-9080 Article 3.5. Legislative Open Records ActGOVERNMENT CODE
9070. The Legislature finds and declares that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business by the Legislature is a fundamental and necessary right of every citizen in this state. 9071. This article shall be known and may be cited as the Legislative Open Records Act. 9072. As used in this article: (a) "Person" includes any natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, firm, or association. (b) "Legislature" includes any Member of the Legislature, any legislative officer, any standing, joint, or select committee or subcommittee of the Senate and Assembly, and any other agency or employee of the Legislature. (c) "Legislative records" means any writing prepared on or after December 2, 1974, which contains information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by the Legislature. (d) "Writing" means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, and other documents. 9073. Legislative records are open to inspection at all times during the normal office hours of the Legislature and any person has a right to inspect any legislative record, except as hereafter provided. Any person shall be furnished reasonable opportunities for inspection of legislative records and reasonable facilities for making memoranda or abstracts therefrom. Any person may receive a copy of a legislative record if such record is of a nature permitting such copying. The Legislature may establish fees reasonably calculated to reimburse it for its actual cost in making such copies available, provided such fee shall not exceed ten cents ($0.10) per page. 9074. All requests to inspect any legislative record shall be made to the appropriate Rules Committee of each house of the Legislature or the Joint Rules Committee, except that all requests to inspect any legislative record in the possession of the Auditor General shall be made to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Such committees shall be considered to have custody of all legislative records and shall be responsible for making all legislative records available for inspection. Such committees shall promptly inform any person whether any legislative record shall be made available for inspection. Such legislative records shall be made available for inspection promptly and without unnecessary delay. Whenever such committee withholds any legislative record from inspection, within four working days of the request to inspect such record, the committee shall justify in writing the withholding of such record by demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under the express provisions of this article or that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record, provided that when the Legislature is not in session, such committee shall furnish such written justification within 10 working days of the request to inspect such record. The Rules Committee of each house, the Joint Rules Committee, and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee shall adopt written guidelines stating the procedures to be followed when making legislative records available for inspection. The amendment of this section made at the 1981-82 Regular Session of the Legislature does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, the existing law. 9075. Nothing in this article shall be construed to invalidate or affect the operation of Sections 10207, 10208, 10525, and 10526 of this code, or Temporary Joint Rule 37 of the Senate and Assembly in effect on the effective date of this article, or to require the disclosure of records that are any of the following: (a) Preliminary drafts, notes, or legislative memoranda, except as provided in Section 9080. (b) Records pertaining to pending litigation to which the Legislature is a party, or to claims made pursuant to Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) of Title 1, until the litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled. (c) Personnel, medical, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, provided that the Senate Committee on Rules, the Assembly Committee on Rules, or the Joint Rules Committee shall determine whether disclosure of these records constitutes an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. (d) Records pertaining to the names and phone numbers of senders and recipients of telephone and telegraph communications, provided that records of the total charges for any such communication shall be open for inspection. (e) Records pertaining to the name and location of recipients of automotive fuel or lubricants expenditures, provided that records of the total charges for those expenditures shall be open for inspection. (f) In the custody of or maintained by the Legislative Counsel, except those records in the public data base maintained by the Legislative Counsel that are described in Section 10248. Legislative records shall not be transferred to the custody of the Legislative Counsel to evade the disclosure provisions of this chapter. (g) In the custody of or maintained by the majority and minority caucuses and majority and minority consultants of each house of the Legislature, provided that legislative records shall not be transferred to the custody of the majority and minority caucuses and majority and minority consultants of each house of the Legislature to evade the disclosure provisions of this chapter. (h) Correspondence of and to individual Members of the Legislature and their staff, except as provided in Section 9080. (i) Records the disclosure of which is exempted or prohibited pursuant to provisions of federal or state law, including, but not limited to, provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege. (j) Communications from private citizens to the Legislature, except as provided in Section 9080. (k) Records of complaints to or investigations conducted by, or records of security procedures of, the Legislature. 9076. Any person may institute proceedings for injunctive or declarative relief in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce his right to inspect any legislative record or class of legislative records under this article. The times for responsive pleadings and for hearings in such proceedings shall be set by the judge of the court with the object of securing a decision as to such matters at the earliest possible time. 9077. Whenever it is made to appear by verified petition to the superior court of the county where the records or some part thereof are situated that certain legislative records are being improperly withheld from a member of the public, the court shall order the committee charged with withholding the records to disclose the legislative record or show cause why the committee should not do so. The court shall decide the case after examining the record in camera, if permitted by subdivision (b) of Section 915 of the Evidence Code, papers filed by the parties and such oral argument and additional evidence as the court may allow. If the court finds that the committee's decision to refuse disclosure is not justified under the provisions of Section 9074 or 9075, he shall order the committee to make the record available for inspection. If the judge determines that the committee was justified in refusing to make the record available for inspection, he shall return the item to the committee without disclosing its content with an order supporting the decision refusing disclosure. Any person who fails to obey the order of the court shall be cited to show cause why he is not in contempt of court. 9078. The court shall award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the plaintiff should the plaintiff prevail in litigation filed pursuant to Section 9077. 9079. If the court finds that the plaintiff's case is clearly frivolous, it shall award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the public agency. 9080. (a) The Legislature finds and declares that legislative records relating to bills, resolutions, or proposed constitutional amendments before the Legislature provide evidence of legislative intent that may be important in the subsequent interpretation of laws enacted in the Legislature. The Rules Committee of each house of the Legislature and the Joint Rules Committee shall inform each committee of the Senate and Assembly, and each joint committee of the Legislature, of their responsibility to preserve legislative records and make them available to the public. (b) Each committee of the Senate or Assembly, and each joint committee of the Legislature, having custody of legislative records relating to a bill, resolution, or proposed constitutional amendment assigned to that committee, shall maintain the legislative records described in subdivision (d) in an official committee file. The committee shall preserve those records in its custody, or, in the alternative, may arrange with the State Archives to lodge some or all of the records there under the condition that the records be preserved. (c) "Committee" for purposes of this section includes any entity of the Senate or Assembly responsible for preparing analyses of bills, resolutions, or proposed constitutional amendments that are to be put to a vote by a quorum of the members of the Senate or Assembly. (d) "Legislative records," for purposes of this section, means records contained in an official committee file, including, but not limited to, all of the following: (1) Committee staff analyses. (2) Written testimony. (3) Background material submitted to the committee. (4) Press releases. (5) Written commentary submitted to the committee on a bill, resolution, or proposed constitutional amendment. For purposes of this paragraph, "written commentary" does not include the following: (A) Material not utilized by the staff of a fiscal committee in the preparation of any analysis for the members of that committee. (B) Communications determined by the committee or its staff to be confidential. (6) Versions of bills, resolutions, or proposed constitutional amendments assigned to the committee. (7) Relevant interim hearing materials, studies, case materials, and articles. (e) Legislative records contained in an official committee file shall be open to inspection and copying by the public, pursuant to Sections 9073 and 9074. Each committee of the Senate or Assembly, and each joint committee of the Legislature, shall adopt and implement written procedures consistent with Sections 9073 and 9074 for the public's access to official committee files maintained in the committee's office. The procedures shall provide for the time, place, and other conditions under which committee files may be inspected and copied. Each committee shall make copies of its written procedures available to the public. (f) The Rules Committee of each house of the Legislature or, alternatively, the Joint Rules Committee shall provide for the storage of any official committee file that is not maintained in the office of the committee that created the file or lodged with the State Archives. The Rules Committees of each house of the Legislature or the Joint Rules Committee, as the case may be, shall adopt and implement written procedures consistent with Section 9073 for the public's access to official committee files so stored in its custody. The procedures shall provide for the time, place, and other conditions under which committee files may be inspected and copied, and the committee shall make copies of its written procedures available to the public. (g) Nothing in this section requires making any legislative record available for inspection that relates to any unchaptered bill, resolution, or proposed constitutional amendment introduced in the current legislative session, except in accordance with the requirements and limitations specified in Sections 9073, 9074, and 9075.
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