What records are public?
The law defines "public record" broadly to 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 the physical form and characteristics." A document does not have to be in written form to be a public record. A public record may consist of any medium that contains information, such as a computer tape or disc or video or cassette recording.

Every record made or received by the City is presumed to be a public record, unless it is subject to an exemption. Exempt records are those that Federal, State or Local law prohibits the City from disclosing or permits the City to decline to disclose. For example, the United States and California Constitutions prohibit the disclosure of personal information that would violate an individual's right to privacy.

The custodian of records must either give you a copy of the requested record or provide you with a written justification of why the record is not public (i.e. exempt from disclosure). The City is not required to create a document in response to a request. Nor is the City required to honor prospective requests.

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1. How do I obtain a copy of a public record in Modesto?
2. What records are public?