- generate a public records request letter to any California state or local agency
- challenge a public meeting violation of any California state or local agency body
Programming of this wizard was overseen by our general counsel and California open government law expert, Terry Francke, who made sure that each letter is written to maximize your chances of success. SunScribe is available exclusively on our website, and the process has been streamlined to a few quick and simple steps. Choose your agency from our directory or enter your own. All of your letters are saved to your account so you can review them at any time.
WHO CAN USE SUNSCRIBE?Top
Anyone with Internet access can use SunScribe. Whether you are a citizen activist, a concerned parent, a journalist, or a business professional, SunScribe can help you make the most out of your public records request or meetings violation challenge.
- You do not have to be a member of Californians Aware
- You do not have to live in California
- You do not have to be a citizen of the United States
HOW MUCH WILL SUNSCRIBE COST ME?Top
SunScribe offers three service levels*:
*Prices indicated are per-request and do not include the cost of copy fees and delivery charges incurred for each request (these charges are your sole responsibility).
WHAT DO I GET FOR THE DIFFERENT SERVICE LEVELS?Top
This is the do-it-yourself service level, which includes the use of our form-letter wizard. Once the letter is created, the rest of the request is your responsibility (including printing and mailing the letter). This is the simplest service best suited for routine requests that are unlikely to be denied. CalAware members are eligible for unlimited basic requests at no charge. Non-members can access this service for $2.99 per request.
Choose Gold service and enjoy complete anonymity because these requests are made by CalAware on your behalf. This service starts with the form-letter wizard, but then the letter is printed on CalAware letterhead and signed by general counsel Terry Francke before it is mailed to the agency. CalAware will take delivery of the documents produced and arrange delivery to your door (unless you prefer direct delivery, which can be arranged). This service level is best for requests that may benefit from the possible influence of the CalAware name, or for individuals who would prefer anonymity*.
*FYI – Public records requests are themselves public records.
This is the full service option for individuals who prefer that their requests be overseen by a legal expert. Like the Gold service level, Premium service requests are printed on CalAware letterhead and signed by general counsel Terry Francke, but first he will review the request and make adjustments to maximize your potential for success. Your request is then sent to the agency using certified mail with return receipt so that we have record of delivery. If any part of the request is denied, Mr. Francke will review the denial letter and ask the agency for reconsideration if he feels that the denial was improperly applied. If the agency stands by its original denial, Mr. Francke will provide you with an analysis of their denial and a list of recourse options. This is a complete service package up to, but not including, your decision to litigate (we will provide you a list of attorneys who specialize in the relevant litigation, but we cannot represent you).
WHY PUT MY REQUEST IN WRITING AT ALL? Top
Although written requests are not required by law, the California Public Records Act does require that agencies respond to written requests with a written response. Requiring a written response from the agency forces it to explain any denials that it issues, including providing legal references for its claimed exemptions. This will be very helpful if you decide to have an attorney review the denial and will provide a paper trail of your efforts in court if it comes to litigation.