Request #19-594
  Closed

October 5, 2019

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.) ("CPRA”), the Vallejo Sunshine Ordinance, and all other applicable laws, please disclose the following records.

 

  • Any video or audio record that relates to Officer David McLaughlin’s words or conduct as described in the cease and desist letter from attorney Melissa Nold to Vallejo City Attorney Claudia Quintana dated October 4, 2019.

 

This request includes communications involving private as well as public infrastructure, devices, and/or accounts. See, e.g., San Jose v. Superior Court, 2 Cal.5th 608 (2017) (holding that when a city employee uses a personal account to communicate about the conduct of public business, the writings may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act). 

 

The fundamental rule of the CPRA is a presumption of public access. “In other words, [A]ll public records are subject to disclosure unless the Legislature has expressly provided to the contrary.” Williams v. Superior Court, 5 Cal. 4th 337 (1993). This presumption finds further support in the California Constitution, as amended by Proposition 59 in 2004. “A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access.” Cal. Const. Art. 1 § 3(b)(2).

 

Please provide a determination on this request within 10 days of your receipt of it, and an even prompter reply if you can make that determination without having to review the records in question. If you determine that any or all of the information qualifies for an exemption from disclosure, please note whether, as is normally the case, the exemption is discretionary, and if so whether it is necessary in this case to exercise your discretion to withhold the information. If you determine that some but not all of the information is exempt from disclosure and that you intend to withhold it, please redact it for the time being and make the rest available as requested. In any event, please provide a signed notification citing the legal authorities on which you rely if you determine that any or all of the information is exempt and will not be disclosed.

 

Please apply a fee waiver to this request. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, please provide notification of any duplication costs exceeding $20 before you duplicate the records. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, please further provide an index of all other requests since 2014 for which a fee waiver was denied, and the reason therefor.

 

Please disclose the requested record(s) electronically via email to records@openvallejo.org. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

 

Thank you.


Received

October 5, 2019 via web


Departments

Police Department


Requester

Open Vallejo

Documents

Public

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Staff

Point of Contact

Joni Brown

Request Closed Public
October 15, 2019, 5:02pm by Samantha Chen
External Message   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo,

 

My office represents the City of Vallejo (the “City”) in connection with the City’s response to your PRA Request sent and received on October 5, 2019.  I have been authorized by our client to provide a determination on your request for records.

 

The City denies your PRA request to the extent it seeks to confirm the allegations in Ms. Nold’s letter.  The City will not, through its response to this Public Records Act request, comment on the “words and conduct” contained in the letter.   The Vallejo Police Department has a formal process for investigating and addressing accusations of misconduct against its police officers.  A PRA request is not an appropriate mechanism by which to seek comment on those accusations.

 

Further, the City is withholding a video recording of an interaction between Officer David McLaughlin and Melissa Nold under Government Code section 6254(f) because it was captured in the course of a criminal investigation conducted by the Vallejo Police Department.  The Public Records Act exempts law enforcement investigation files from disclosure.

 

The Public Records Act requires the City to provide a written response when a records request is denied, either in whole or in part. (Gov. Code § 6255, subd. (b).)  The Public Records Act also requires that notification of denial of any request for records must include the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial. (Gov. Code § 6253, subd. (d).)  With the name and title provided below, this correspondence fulfills both of the aforementioned legal requirements.

 

Thank you for your understanding.

 

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

October 15, 2019, 5:01pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
Request Published Public
October 8, 2019, 10:19am by Joni Brown, Administrative Analyst I
External Message   Hide Public

Officially Receiving PRA Request

I have received your request for a public record.

The California Public Records Act, Government Code §6250, et seq., gives you the right to obtain a copy of identifiable public records. Government Code §6253(c) provides that the City has up to 10 days after receipt of your request to determine whether to comply with your request and shall immediately notify you of this determination and the reasons therefor.

I will notify you in writing of the City’s determination. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

October 8, 2019, 10:16am by Joni Brown, Administrative Analyst I (Staff)
Department Assignment Public
Police Department
October 5, 2019, 5:28pm
Request Opened Public
Request received via web
October 5, 2019, 5:28pm