Is information in a peace officer's personnel file subject to disclosure?

Often employee records are exempt from disclosure, however, in specific situations a record within the overall file may be released outside of a court order. In 2019 and 2022, the California State Legislature mandated the release of applicable portions of a peace officer’s personnel records in cases where:

  • A peace or custodial officer who discharged a firearm at a person or used force against a person that resulted in death or great bodily injury. (Pen. Code 832.7(b))
  • During an active investigation, disclosure may be delayed for up to 60 days from the occurrence or until the district attorney determines whether to file criminal charges related to the use of force, whichever comes first. (Pen. Code 832.7(b)(7)(A))
  • After 60 days, records may be continued to be delayed if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with a criminal enforcement proceeding/ administrative proceeding against the officer who used force. If such delay takes place, a writing with the specific basis for the delay in disclosure will be provided, at 180-day intervals. The writing will include an estimated date for disclosure of withheld information. (Pen. Code 832.7(b)(7)(A))
  • Records of a sustained finding made by a law enforcement agency of an officer engaging in a sexual assault involving a member of the public will be disclosed. (Pen. Code 832.7(b)(1)(B)(i))
  • Records of a sustained finding against a peace or custodial officer for dishonesty directly relating to the reporting, investigation, or prosecution of a crime, or directly relating to the reporting of, or investigation of misconduct by, another peace or custodial officer, will be disclosed. (Pen. Code 832. 7(b)(1)(C))
  • Records from a separate or prior investigation will not be released unless it is independently subject to disclosure. (Pen. Code 832.7(b)(3))

The Sheriff's Office will redact information where, on the facts of the case, the public interest served by not disclosing the information clearly outweighs the public interest served by the disclosure of the information. (Pen. Code 832.7(b)(6))

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1. What is the "California Public Records Act? (Gov Code 6252 et seq)
2. What is a Public Record?
3. Who can make a Public Records Act Request?
4. Can a public records request be made anonymously?
5. Do I have to specify my reason for making a Public Records Act request?
6. Who at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office is Responsible for Responding to CPRA Requests?
7. Are all public records subject to public disclosure?
8. Does a request for records have to be in writing?
9. When are records to be made available for inspection?
10. If a person wants to inspect or obtain a copy of a public record, but fails to describe a reasonably identifiable record, is CPRA staff required to assist the individual?
11. What is the time frame for responding to a request for public records?
12. Can the time period to respond be extended?
13. What constitutes "unusual circumstances" for extending the time to respond?
14. ls the Sheriff's Office required to notify the requesting party in writing of the 14-day extension?
15. What if the requested records contain both exempt and nonexempt materials?
16. Can a requester have the records disclosed in electronic format?
17. ls the Sheriff's Office required to provide a copy of the electronic record in the format requested?
18. Can the Sheriff's Office charge a fee for copies of the records being requested?
19. Can the Sheriff's Office charge for services in providing copies of records?
20. What if the Sheriff's Office says that it has no records responsive to my request?
21. How long must the Sheriff's Office maintain records?
22. Where can I find the records retention policy?
23. On what grounds may a request for public records be denied?
24. Does the CPRA contain a list of state laws that expressly exempts information contained in a record from disclosure?
25. ls the Sheriff's Office required to respond to a request for public record in writing?
26. ls the Sheriff's Office required to state reasons for denying a request for records?
27. Can the Sheriff's Office deny a request based on the purpose of the request?
28. Can the Sheriff's Office file an action for declaratory relief to ask the court to determine whether the records must be disclosed?
29. What if the Sheriff's Office unjustifiably denies a request for a record?
30. ls a written communication within the Sheriff's Office in reference to pending or current litigation subject to disclosure?
31. Are sections from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Standards Manual (“DSM”) exempt from disclosure?
32. Is a police report subject to disclosure?
33. Is a report of an ongoing investigation subject to disclosure?
34. Is a report regarding juvenile subject to disclosure?
35. Will the Sheriff's Office redact any information before it is disclosed?
36. Is police body worn camera footage subject to disclosure?
37. Is a traffic accident report subject to disclosure?
38. Can information regarding people who hold concealed weapons permits be disclosed?
39. Is information in a peace officer's personnel file subject to disclosure?
40. ls a request for premises history information disclosable (i.e., information regarding criminal activity at an address or addresses)?
41. ls an individual's criminal history disclosable?
42. Are materials used in training police officers subject to disclosure?
43. ls the Arrest Log Information of people who have been arrested by the Sheriff's Office subject to disclosure?
44. Are Sheriff's employees entitled to their personnel files with a request under the CPRA?
45. Are Sheriff's employees entitled to inspect records relating to possible criminal investigation or letters of reference?
46. Is the salary information of Sheriff's employees subject to disclosure?
47. Are administrative investigations considered public records that are subject to inspection under the CPRA?