2009 California Civil Code - Section 1798.30-1798.44 :: Article 8. Access To Records And Administrative RemediesCIVIL CODE
1798.30. Each agency shall either adopt regulations or publish guidelines specifying procedures to be followed in order fully to implement each of the rights of individuals set forth in this article. 1798.32. Each individual shall have the right to inquire and be notified as to whether the agency maintains a record about himself or herself. Agencies shall take reasonable steps to assist individuals in making their requests sufficiently specific. Any notice sent to an individual which in any way indicates that the agency maintains any record concerning that individual shall include the title and business address of the agency official responsible for maintaining the records, the procedures to be followed to gain access to the records, and the procedures to be followed for an individual to contest the contents of these records unless the individual has received this notice from the agency during the past year. In implementing the right conferred by this section, an agency may specify in its rules or regulations reasonable times, places, and requirements for identifying an individual who requests access to a record, and for disclosing the contents of a record. 1798.33. Each agency may establish fees to be charged, if any, to an individual for making copies of a record. Such fees shall exclude the cost of any search for and review of the record, and shall not exceed ten cents ($0.10) per page, unless the agency fee for copying is established by statute. 1798.34. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, each agency shall permit any individual upon request and proper identification to inspect all the personal information in any record containing personal information and maintained by reference to an identifying particular assigned to the individual within 30 days of the agency's receipt of the request for active records, and within 60 days of the agency's receipt of the request for records that are geographically dispersed or which are inactive and in central storage. Failure to respond within these time limits shall be deemed denial. In addition, the individual shall be permitted to inspect any personal information about himself or herself where it is maintained by reference to an identifying particular other than that of the individual, if the agency knows or should know that the information exists. The individual also shall be permitted to inspect the accounting made pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 1798.25). (b) The agency shall permit the individual, and, upon the individual's request, another person of the individual's own choosing to inspect all the personal information in the record and have an exact copy made of all or any portion thereof within 15 days of the inspection. It may require the individual to furnish a written statement authorizing disclosure of the individual's record to another person of the individual's choosing. (c) The agency shall present the information in the record in a form reasonably comprehensible to the general public. (d) Whenever an agency is unable to access a record by reference to name only, or when access by name only would impose an unreasonable administrative burden, it may require the individual to submit such other identifying information as will facilitate access to the record. (e) When an individual is entitled under this chapter to gain access to the information in a record containing personal information, the information or a true copy thereof shall be made available to the individual at a location near the residence of the individual or by mail, whenever reasonable. 1798.35. Each agency shall permit an individual to request in writing an amendment of a record and, shall within 30 days of the date of receipt of such request: (a) Make each correction in accordance with the individual's request of any portion of a record which the individual believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete and inform the individual of the corrections made in accordance with their request; or (b) Inform the individual of its refusal to amend the record in accordance with such individual's request, the reason for the refusal, the procedures established by the agency for the individual to request a review by the head of the agency or an official specifically designated by the head of the agency of the refusal to amend, and the name, title, and business address of the reviewing official. 1798.36. Each agency shall permit any individual who disagrees with the refusal of the agency to amend a record to request a review of such refusal by the head of the agency or an official specifically designated by the head of such agency, and, not later than 30 days from the date on which the individual requests such review, complete such review and make a final determination unless, for good cause shown, the head of the agency extends such review period by 30 days. If, after such review, the reviewing official refuses to amend the record in accordance with the request, the agency shall permit the individual to file with the agency a statement of reasonable length setting forth the reasons for the individual's disagreement. 1798.37. The agency, with respect to any disclosure containing information about which the individual has filed a statement of disagreement, shall clearly note any portion of the record which is disputed and make available copies of such individual's statement and copies of a concise statement of the reasons of the agency for not making the amendment to any person or agency to whom the disputed record has been or is disclosed. 1798.38. If information, including letters of recommendation, compiled for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for employment, advancement, renewal of appointment or promotion, status as adoptive parents, or for the receipt of state contracts, or for licensing purposes, was received with the promise or, prior to July 1, 1978, with the understanding that the identity of the source of the information would be held in confidence and the source is not in a supervisory position with respect to the individual to whom the record pertains, the agency shall fully inform the individual of all personal information about that individual without identification of the source. This may be done by providing a copy of the text of the material with only such deletions as are necessary to protect the identity of the source or by providing a comprehensive summary of the substance of the material. Whichever method is used, the agency shall insure that full disclosure is made to the subject of any personal information that could reasonably in any way reflect or convey anything detrimental, disparaging, or threatening to an individual's reputation, rights, benefits, privileges, or qualifications, or be used by an agency to make a determination that would affect an individual's rights, benefits, privileges, or qualifications. In institutions of higher education, "supervisory positions" shall not be deemed to include chairpersons of academic departments. 1798.39. Sections 1798.35, 1798.36, and 1798.37 shall not apply to any record evidencing property rights. 1798.40. This chapter shall not be construed to require an agency to disclose personal information to the individual to whom the information pertains, if the information meets any of the following criteria: (a) Is compiled for the purpose of identifying individual criminal offenders and alleged offenders and consists only of identifying data and notations of arrests, the nature and disposition of criminal charges, sentencing, confinement, release, and parole and probation status. (b) Is compiled for the purpose of a criminal investigation of suspected criminal activities, including reports of informants and investigators, and associated with an identifiable individual. (c) Is contained in any record which could identify an individual and which is compiled at any stage of the process of enforcement of the criminal laws, from the arrest or indictment stage through release from supervision and including the process of extradition or the exercise of executive clemency. (d) Is maintained for the purpose of an investigation of an individual's fitness for licensure or public employment, or of a grievance or complaint, or a suspected civil offense, so long as the information is withheld only so as not to compromise the investigation, or a related investigation. The identities of individuals who provided information for the investigation may be withheld pursuant to Section 1798.38. (e) Would compromise the objectivity or fairness of a competitive examination for appointment or promotion in public service, or to determine fitness for licensure, or to determine scholastic aptitude. (f) Pertains to the physical or psychological condition of the individual, if the agency determines that disclosure would be detrimental to the individual. The information shall, upon the individual's written authorization, be disclosed to a licensed medical practitioner or psychologist designated by the individual. (g) Relates to the settlement of claims for work related illnesses or injuries and is maintained exclusively by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. (h) Is required by statute to be withheld from the individual to whom it pertains. This section shall not be construed to deny an individual access to information relating to him or her if access is allowed by another statute or decisional law of this state. 1798.41. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), if the agency determines that information requested pursuant to Section 1798.34 is exempt from access, it shall inform the individual in writing of the agency's finding that disclosure is not required by law. (b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), each agency shall conduct a review of its determination that particular information is exempt from access pursuant to Section 1798.40, within 30 days from the receipt of a request by an individual directly affected by the determination, and inform the individual in writing of the findings of the review. The review shall be conducted by the head of the agency or an official specifically designated by the head of the agency. (c) If the agency believes that compliance with subdivision (a) would seriously interfere with attempts to apprehend persons who are wanted for committing a crime or attempts to prevent the commission of a crime or would endanger the life of an informant or other person submitting information contained in the record, it may petition the presiding judge of the superior court of the county in which the record is maintained to issue an ex parte order authorizing the agency to respond to the individual that no record is maintained. All proceedings before the court shall be in camera. If the presiding judge finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that compliance with subdivision (a) will seriously interfere with attempts to apprehend persons who are wanted for committing a crime or attempts to prevent the commission of a crime or will endanger the life of an informant or other person submitting information contained in the record, the judge shall issue an order authorizing the agency to respond to the individual that no record is maintained by the agency. The order shall not be issued for longer than 30 days but can be renewed at 30-day intervals. If a request pursuant to this section is received after the expiration of the order, the agency must either respond pursuant to subdivision (a) or seek a new order pursuant to this subdivision. 1798.42. In disclosing information contained in a record to an individual, an agency shall not disclose any personal information relating to another individual which may be contained in the record. To comply with this section, an agency shall, in disclosing information, delete from disclosure such information as may be necessary. This section shall not be construed to authorize withholding the identities of sources except as provided in Sections 1798.38 and 1798.40. 1798.43. In disclosing information contained in a record to an individual, an agency need not disclose any information pertaining to that individual which is exempt under Section 1798.40. To comply with this section, an agency may, in disclosing personal information contained in a record, delete from the disclosure any exempt information. 1798.44. This article applies to the rights of an individual to whom personal information pertains and not to the authority or right of any other person, agency, other state governmental entity, or governmental entity to obtain this information.
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