200 E. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
About the Right to Access Records
The public’s right to access information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right. A record shall not be withheld from disclosure unless it is clearly exempt under applicable laws, or unless the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.
This page is intended to assist members of the public in obtaining access to City of San José public records under the California Public Records Act and City policy:
- California State Public Records Act (CPRA) - The CPRA ensures public access to public records from state agencies and local governments.It is similar in purpose to the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
- City of San José Ethics & Public Records Ordinance and Resolutions - The City's ordinances and resolutions on ethics and open government augments the CPRA and re-affirm the right of the public to access public records.
How to Request Public Records
If you can't find what you need online, you can request Public Records in writing, via mail, email, or fax or verbally on the phone or in person. However, to avoid confusion and to make certain that you obtain the records you want, it is best to put your request in writing. Although not required, the Public Records Request form is available online to assist you in making a request. Requests for public records can also be submitted directly to the department which manages the record being sought. Public Records Act Coordinator information is available in the link provided.
Try to be as clear as possible when requesting records and put date limits on your request. Offer any search clues you can and if you are informed that the records you are requesting do not exist, discuss alternatives with the City staff to whom you are making the request.
Fees & Charges for Duplicating
The City does not charge for the time and costs incurred in searching for, locating, or collecting records. However, the City may charge for the actual costs of duplicating paper records. The current fee schedule is available online.
Requests for electronic records generally requires payment for the cost of programming and computer services necessary to produce records that are not routinely produced. Costs for programming vary from department to department.
However, the City does not charge for access to data that is readily accessible without significant cost to the City.
If you believe that you have been inappropriately denied access to City of San José public records, you may appeal that denial by contacting either the Open Government Manager by email or phone at (408) 535-8120 of the City Council Rules and Open Government Committee by emailing the Office of the City Clerk or calling (408) 535-1260
You may also file a lawsuit with the Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Learn more about the public records appeal process.
Public Comment and the Public Record
Comments and correspondence about the conduct of the City's business may be published as part of the public record. Please review the City Clerk's policy on posting public comments for additional information.