Welcome to MuckRock's California Public Records Act appeal guide!

Each entry provides background and context about an exemption to the public records laws in all fifty states, as well as federal FOIA. Read more about California's public records law or explore all our expert FOIA guides. Have a public records appeal or information on an exemption we should include? Consider sharing your knowledge with everyone by donating your FOIA appeal language.

Constructive Denial

This guide is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not legal opinion nor legal advice regarding any specific issue or factual circumstance.

There is no legal basis for an agency being completely unresponsive.

Example Appeals

California Public Records Act (Cal. Gov’t Code § 6253(c)) specifically requires that an agency provide a response to a public records request within ten business days of receipt of that request.

By failing to respond to this request within the legally-mandated timeframe, this agency is in violation of the law.

Please provide acknowledgement of this request and the responsive materials forthwith. If such materials cannot be produced, please provide an appropriate explanation for this rejection, as is dictated by this agency's legal obligations under the California Public Records Act. Your accelerated attention to this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Proper Use

An agency has ten days to respond to the initial request.

Improper Use

According to California Government Code: “Each agency, upon a request for a copy of records, shall, within 10 days from receipt of the request, determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the person making the request of the determination and the reasons therefor.”

Key Citations

Cal. Gov’t Code § 6253(c)