National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

California Sample FOIA Request

[Your Name]
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]


[Name of Custodian of Records]
[Company Name]
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]

Dear [custodian of records]:

I am requesting access to records in possession or control of the [insert government entity] for the purposes of inspection and copying pursuant to the California Public Records Act, California Government Code § 7920.000 et seq. (“CPRA”), and Article I, § 3(b) of the California Constitution. The specific records I seek to inspect and copy are listed below. As used herein, “Record” includes “Public Records” and “Writings” as those terms are defined at Government Code § 7920.530 & 7920.545. I request access to inspect/copies of [Describe the record as precisely as possible, including the designation of any forms or reports with titles, the date or dates if relevant, the author and addressee if the item is a letter or memo, etc. If the record is referred to in another document or published report and it will help to attach a copy of that reference, do so.]

If you contend that any portion of the records requested is exempt from disclosure by express provisions of law, Government Code § 7922.525(b) requires segregation and redaction of that material in order that the remainder of the records may be released. If you contend that any express provision of law exists to exempt from disclosure all or a portion of the records I have requested, Government Code § 7922.535 requires that you notify me of the reasons for the determination not later than 10 days from your receipt of this request. Government Code § 7922.540 requires that any response to this request that includes a determination that the request is denied, in whole or in part, must be in writing and include the name and title of the person(s) responsible for the City’s response.

Government Code § 7922.500 prohibits the use of the 10-day period, or any provisions of the CPRA or any other law, “to delay access for purposes of inspecting public records.”

In responding to this request, please keep in mind that Article 1, § 3(b)(2) of the California Constitution expressly requires you to broadly construe all provisions that further the public’s right of access, and to apply any limitations on access as narrowly as possible.

If I can provide any clarification that will help expedite your attention to my request, please contact me at [provide phone or email address], pursuant to Government Code § 7922.600. I ask that you notify me of any duplication costs exceeding $xx before you duplicate the records so that I may decide which records I want copied.

Thank you for your timely attention to this matter.