2009 California Civil Code - Section 1798.45-1798.53 :: Article 9. Civil Remedies

SECTION 1798.45-1798.53

1798.45.  An individual may bring a civil action against an agency
whenever such agency does any of the following:
   (a) Refuses to comply with an individual's lawful request to
inspect pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1798.34.
   (b) Fails to maintain any record concerning any individual with
such accuracy, relevancy, timeliness, and completeness as is
necessary to assure fairness in any determination relating to the
qualifications, character, rights, opportunities of, or benefits to
the individual that may be made on the basis of such record, if, as a
proximate result of such failure, a determination is made which is
adverse to the individual.
   (c) Fails to comply with any other provision of this chapter, or
any rule promulgated thereunder, in such a way as to have an adverse
effect on an individual.

1798.46.  In any suit brought under the provisions of subdivision
(a) of Section 1798.45:
   (a) The court may enjoin the agency from withholding the records
and order the production to the complainant of any agency records
improperly withheld from the complainant. In such a suit the court
shall determine the matter de novo, and may examine the contents of
any agency records in camera to determine whether the records or any
portion thereof may be withheld as being exempt from the individual's
right of access and the burden is on the agency to sustain its
   (b) The court shall assess against the agency reasonable attorney'
s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in any suit
under this section in which the complainant has prevailed. A party
may be considered to have prevailed even though he or she does not
prevail on all issues or against all parties.

1798.47.  Any agency that fails to comply with any provision of this
chapter may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction. The
court may make any order or judgment as may be necessary to prevent
the use or employment by an agency of any practices which violate
this chapter.
   Actions for injunction under this section may be prosecuted by the
Attorney General, or any district attorney in this state, in the
name of the people of the State of California whether upon his or her
own complaint, or of a member of the general public, or by any
individual acting in his or her own behalf.

1798.48.  In any suit brought under the provisions of subdivision
(b) or (c) of Section 1798.45, the agency shall be liable to the
individual in an amount equal to the sum of:
   (a) Actual damages sustained by the individual, including damages
for mental suffering.
   (b) The costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's
fees as determined by the court.

1798.49.  An action to enforce any liability created under Sections
1798.45 to 1798.48, inclusive, may be brought in any court of
competent jurisdiction in the county in which the complainant
resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which the
defendant's records are situated, within two years from the date on
which the cause of action arises, except that where a defendant has
materially and willfully misrepresented any information required
under this section to be disclosed to an individual who is the
subject of the information and the information so misrepresented is
material to the establishment of the defendant's liability to that
individual under this section, the action may be brought at any time
within two years after discovery by the complainant of the
misrepresentation. Nothing in Sections 1798.45 to 1798.48, inclusive,
shall be construed to authorize any civil action by reason of any
injury sustained as the result of any information practice covered by
this chapter prior to July 1, 1978.
   The rights and remedies set forth in this chapter shall be deemed
to be nonexclusive and are in addition to all those rights and
remedies which are otherwise available under any other provision of

1798.50.  A civil action shall not lie under this article based upon
an allegation that an opinion which is subjective in nature, as
distinguished from a factual assertion, about an individual's
qualifications, in connection with a personnel action concerning such
an individual, was not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete.

1798.51.  Where a remedy other than those provided in Articles 8 and
9 is provided by law but is not available because of lapse of time
an individual may obtain a correction to a record under this chapter
but such correction shall not operate to revise or restore a right or
remedy not provided by this chapter that has been barred because of
lapse of time.

1798.53.  Any person, other than an employee of the state or of a
local government agency acting solely in his or her official
capacity, who intentionally discloses information, not otherwise
public, which they know or should reasonably know was obtained from
personal information maintained by a state agency or from "records"
within a "system of records" (as these terms are defined in the
Federal Privacy Act of 1974 (P. L. 93-579; 5 U.S.C. 552a)) maintained
by a federal government agency, shall be subject to a civil action,
for invasion of privacy, by the individual to whom the information
   In any successful action brought under this section, the
complainant, in addition to any special or general damages awarded,
shall be awarded a minimum of two thousand five hundred dollars
($2,500) in exemplary damages as well as attorney's fees and other
litigation costs reasonably incurred in the suit.
   The right, remedy, and cause of action set forth in this section
shall be nonexclusive and is in addition to all other rights,
remedies, and causes of action for invasion of privacy, inherent in
Section 1 of Article I of the California Constitution.

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