On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom approved AB 1819 by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, to allow CPRA requesters to use cell phones and other devices to make their own copies of public records.

The measure had the strong support of CNPA.

AB 1819 was introduced to end the practice of state and local agencies using sometimes-steep duplication costs as a means to delay and obstruct access to records they possess.

AB 1819 will allow an agency to 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 could use their own equipment to capture an image of a document to copy a record.

The new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.