Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The California Court of Appeals (Third Appellate District) has reversed the trial court, denying the request of the Los Angeles Times to compel the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to release certain information about its personnel under the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code section 6250 et seq.). POST had argued that the data was exempt because it was information ordinarily contained in confidential personnel files and was part of the officers' "employment history" as that term is understood within the meaning of section 832.8 subdivision (a) of the Penal Code. The appellate court agreed, saying, "As we will explain, all of the information sought by The Times was obtained by POST from peace officer personnel records within the meaning of Penal Code sections 832.7 and 832.8. Thus, the data is exempt from disclosure under section 6254, subdivision (k). " The Times had argued, however, that such information was information not expressly listed in Penal Code 832.8 as "components of a peace officer's personnel file". Therefore "they do not constitute personnel records within the meaning of Penal Code section 832.7 and...are not privileged under the CPRA." Read the entire opinion here.