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Justin McLachlan filed this request with the Department of Public Health of Los Angeles County, CA.
Due Dec. 16, 2020
Est. Completion Jan. 25, 2021
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Justin McLachlan


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all records regarding the management, sending, tracking and processing of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Isolation Orders, including but not limited to all emails, text messages, studies, reports, policies, policy guidance, spreadsheets, timelines, statistical analyses, databases, order drafts and/or previous drafts of orders. Actual orders issued to any individual are not being sought under this request.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Justin McLachlan

From: Department of Public Health

Good Afternoon,

Please see the attached. If you have any questions please contact Jason Carnevale via email at JCarnevale@counsel.lacounty.gov<mailto:JCarnevale@counsel.lacounty.gov> .

Thank you,
Ebony Browder
Ebony Browder
Legal Office Support Assistant I
Office of The County Counsel,
Government Services Division
Phone: (213) 974-5853
Fax: (213) 617-7182
Email: EBrowder@counsel.lacounty.gov<mailto:EBrowder@counsel.lacounty.gov>

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email message, including any attachments, from the Office of the County Counsel is intended for the official and confidential use of the recipients to whom it is addressed. It contains information that may be confidential, privileged, attorney work product, or otherwise exempted from disclosure under applicable law. If you have received this message in error, be advised that any review, disclosure, use, dissemination, distribution, or reproduction of this message or its contents is strictly prohibited. Please notify us immediately by reply email that you have received this message in error, and destroy this message, including any attachments.

From: Department of Public Health

Good Afternoon,

Per County Counsel's request, please see the attached document. For further questions or concerns, please contact Deputy County Counsel Jason Carnevale, via email at JCarnevale@counsel.lacounty.gov

Blanca Funes
Government Services Division

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email message, including any attachments, from the Office of the County Counsel is intended for the official and confidential use of the recipients to whom it is addressed. It contains information that may be confidential, privileged, attorney work product, or otherwise exempted from disclosure under applicable law. If you have received this message in error, be advised that any review, disclosure, use, dissemination, distribution, or reproduction of this message or its contents is strictly prohibited. Please notify us immediately by reply email that you have received this message in error, and destroy this message, including any attachments.

  • Public Records Act Request - Response -Justin_McLachlan-1112021

From: Justin McLachlan

To Whom It May Concern:

Government Code Section 6255 does not allow you to delay the release of otherwise public records.

“[W]hile responsive records may be and have been entirely withheld under the CPRA catchall exemption, a public agency remains otherwise obligated to redact exempt information from a nonexempt record when the exempt and nonexempt materials are not 'inextricably intertwined' and are 'otherwise reasonably segregable.'” Becerra v. Superior Court (2020) 44 Cal.App.5th 897, 929

Further—

"[P]otential application of this catchall exemption simply means that otherwise responsive records may be withheld only in those instances where the public agency adequately demonstrates that, due to the facts of a particular case, the public interest in nondisclosure clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure." Becerra v. Superior Court, supra.

It is simply not logical that the agency charged with managing a public health emergency — one admittedly (in writing no less) failing because of its lack of resources and time — can then cite and rely on its own failures to escape transparency and public accountability. That is circular logic at its finest, but it is not a legal argument and it is not one that would survive judicial scrutiny.

As such, I deem this a wholesale denial and the request now ripe for judicial review. Please respond by the end of business Friday, January 15, 2021 with confirmation that you intend to continue relying on this exemption to withhold any responsive records. If you continue to rely on such bad faith arguments, or I do not hear from you, I will seek a court order compelling your compliance with the public records act. Please note, you will bear the burden of proof to sustain your application of the exemption, and a prevailing plaintiff in a public records acts action is entitled to costs and attorney fees associated with bringing the case to court.

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