Reverse-CPRA bill introduced with several court cases pending

SB 657 by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), has been introduced in an attempt to address the problem of reverse-CPRA actions, where a third party implicated in a public records request seeks to restrain an agency from disclosing information the agency would otherwise disclose under the California Public Records Act.

Currently, at least three cases are pending before appellate courts, and certain issues raised in SB 657 are subject to that litigation, making reform by the Legislature a touchy issue. One element of the bill providing the requester with notification that her request is the catalyst for a reverse-CPRA action is not current law, nor directly at issue in the pending litigation.

Requiring notification to a requester would ensure that the public has an opportunity to represent the interests in disclosure in a court action. However, if such a rule were made law, the reverse-CPRA action, currently a judicially created cause of action, would be codified.