What is a public record?

Per the California Public Records Act (CA GC 6250-6270): A “public record” includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by the City of Sonoma regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Records are not just printed or handwritten documents, they may be video recordings or information in a database. “Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photocopying, photographing, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, any form of communication or representation including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols, or any combination thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.

Public records requests can be submitted online on the City’s CivicWeb Portal.

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