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What to Do if Your Department Receives a Request for Records

As a public institution, please note that UC Merced must disclose public records unless a specific exemption from disclosure applies. Any records requests that you receive must be responded to in a timely manner. California law requires that we provide a response within 10 days of receipt of a request to the institution. Any records that you hold (including emails and records held on personal devices) may be public records that could be released in a records request.

What is the definition of a public record?

A public record 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 or characteristics," under Government Code Section 6252(d).

A writing is defined as "handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostatting, photographing, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, and other documents," according to Government Code Section 6252(e).

What if my office receives a records request directly from a requester?

  • Note the date you received the request; and
  • Immediately forward the request to the Office of Legal Affairs with all attached materials.