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Bill allowing CPRA requesters to make copies with their cell phones to be heard next week

This Tuesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on legislation it introduced that would give a CPRA requester the right to use his or her own equipment to photograph, copy or reproduce any record upon inspection without being charged any fees or costs.

AB 1819 by the Judiciary Committee is supported by CNPA and would end the practice of state and local agencies that use the cost of providing copies of public records as a means to delay and obstruct access to those records.

Under the bill, however, an agency could prevent a requester from using his or her own equipment to make a copy of a record if the mechanism used to make the copy would damage the document.

Under existing law, an agency can charge a requester for the “the direct cost of duplication” if the requester wants to obtain a copy of a public record. The CPRA is silent, however, as to whether requesters can use their own equipment, like a cell phone for example, to capture an image of a document to copy a record.

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