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Public records/legal resources

California Public Records Act
• The Public Records Act mandates the disclosure of most state government records and communications unless there are overriding reasons not to do so.
• The First Amendment Coalition’s CPRA primer and the attorney general’s PDF guide are good places to learn more about the Public Records Act.
• A downloadable video podcast explaining the act and a sample CPRA request letter are also available from the First Amendment Coalition.

The Brown Act
• The Brown Act requires local government meetings to be open to the public, unless there are compelling or legally binding reasons to meet in private.
• The First Amendment Project provides a tip sheet on your right to attend public meetings.
• The attorney general's office offers a PDF guide to the Brown Act, including the full text of the law.

The Bagley-Keene Act
• The Bagley-Keene Act extended the same Brown Act open-meetings standards to state boards and agencies.
• A guide to the Bagley-Keene Act is available through the First Amendment Project.
• The attorney general’s office also provides a PDF guide to the Bagley-Keene Act.

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act
• The Freedom of Information Act is one of the most widely used tools for getting information from the government.
• The Department of Justice provides a list of key FOIA contacts at federal agencies.

California laws and codes
• A searchable database of California’s laws and codes can be found here.

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