Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mastagni Holstedt, APC Files Amicus Brief at California Supreme Court

Mastagni Holstedt, APC attorneys filed an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court about the application of the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). The CPRA defines the electronic communications of public officials as public documents. Therefore, any public citizen may acquire the electronic communications of public officials through an information request.

The California Court of Appeal for the Sixth District held when a public official sends an electronic communication using a personal cell phone or e-mail account, those documents are not public records. In its brief, Mastagni Holstedt argues the ruling is incorrect and explains some of the unintended consequences to labor associations. The ruling allows public officials to do business behind closed doors, circumventing the purpose of the CPRA. Furthermore, it prevents public unions and other entities from holding public officials accountable by limiting their access to information.

Mastagni Holstedt, APC filed the brief to bring important legal arguments to the Court’s attention, ensuring the rights of employee organizations are protected. Mastagni Holstedt attorneys David E. Mastagni, Isaac S. Stevens, and Jeffrey R. A. Edwards represent the amici in the matter.