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California PRA Requires Disclosure of the Names of Cops Who Shot Civilian

The Santa Barbara News-Press (newspaper), a subsidiary of the New York Times Co., sued the county sheriff (Sheriff) in state court under the state Public Records Act (PRA), Cal. Gov't Code § 6250 et seq, to compel disclosure of the names of 5 cops who shot at a suspect killing a private citizen. The trial court dismissed, and the newspaper appealed.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal of California, 2nd Appellate District, Division 6, found that the names could be provided without revealing anything else from the deputies' personnel files. On that basis, the Court reversed the trial court and ordered the Sheriff to disclose the names. See: New York Times Co. v. Superior Court et al., 52 Cal.App.4th 97; 60 Cal.Rptr.2d 410 (1997).

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Related legal case

New York Times Co. v. Superior Court