STEVE COOLEY District Attorney - RICHARD 0. DOYLE Director
CURT LIVESAY - Chief Deputy District Attorney
CURTIS A. HAZELL - Assistant District Attorney
May 26, 2004
Mr. Hal Netkin
P.O. Box 3465
Van Nuys, California 91407
Re:PDO Case No.: 04-0489
Dear Mr. Netkin:
I am in receipt of your letter to Jan Maurizi dated May 17, 2004, in which you request a criminal investigation into the refusal of Fred Leaf to comply with your request for documents pursuant to the California Public Records Act (PRA). For the reasons stated below I must respectfully decline to initiate an investigation at this time.
Although the PRA requires those agencies Covered by the act to comply with requests for identifiable public documents, a failure to provide documents, even if willful, does not subject the offending public official or employee to criminal prosecution. The remedy for a failure to comply with a PRA request is described in California Government Code §6258 and §6259. Those statutes allow the party seeking the documents to file a lawsuit seeking injunctive or declaratory relief or a writ of mandate enforcing the right to inspect or receive the public documents sought. Should the plaintiff prevail, §6259(d) allows for the awarding of costs and attorney fees.
Since there are no criminal statutes contained within the PRA, this office has no jurisdiction to become Involved. You may wish to contact an attorney to explore your available remedies.