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Public Records Requests
The California Legislature has declared that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in California, as set forth in Article 1, Section 3 of the California Constitution and the California Public Records Act (Gov’t. Code § 6250 et seq.).
The Public Records Act broadly defines “public records” to include written and recorded records, unless the Public Records Act or other law exempts the records from disclosure. Pursuant to Government Code section 6252(e), public records “includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form of characteristics.” Printed and photocopied documents, internal and external correspondence, handwritten notes, computer data, electronic files, and audio and video recordings are all public records subject to disclosure unless they fall within an exemption. The Public Records Act provides for public access to records the City of Clovis generates, as well as records created by others that the City of Clovis has in its possession.
The Public Records Act provides disclosure of existing identifiable records. The City of Clovis is not required to prepare new records in response to a request, or to compile, synthesize, summarize, or index information or records in a form that does not exist at the time of the request.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any member of the public may inspect public records or request copies of public records that are reasonably identified by the requester. The City strongly encourages members of the public to submit Public Records Act requests in writing. A City employee who receives a verbal request for records may ask, but cannot require, the requester to submit the request in writing. If the requester declines to submit a written request, the City employee must document the verbal request and process it in accordance with these guidelines.
Any record that is not exempt from disclosure by state law(s) is available. The City may refuse to disclose any records that are exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act. (See Gov. Code, §§ 6254 – 6255).
Yes. The City’s website contains many records available to the public without the need for a formal request. Please submit the public records request form below if you cannot find what you are looking for on the City’s website.
Submit the public records request form below. Your request should be specific, focused, and sufficiently describe records so that they can be identified, located and retrieved by City staff. Where a request is not specific and focused, City staff will assist you to identify records and information that are responsive to your request or to the purpose of the request, if stated; and provide suggestions for obtaining access to the records or information if such records are not subject to an exemption listed in the Public Records Act. If you have any questions, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (559) 324-2060.
The City will send you the records electronically, or you can have them mailed to you. Or, you can pick them up or view them at City Hall located at 1033 Fifth Street, Clovis, CA 93612.
It depends. City staff work diligently to respond to all Public Record Act requests in a timely fashion. If your request seeks records that are easy to identify, locate and review, the City should be able to make the records that are not exempt from disclosure available to you relatively quickly. However, if your request asks for a lot of documents or requires City staff to review a lot of documents to find the ones that are responsive to your request, then it can take a while to receive the records that are not exempt from disclosure. In such cases, the City will send you the requested non-exempt records as quickly as its resources allow.
For more information and assistance, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (559) 324-2060.
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