California Public Records

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About California Open Public Records
The California Public Records Act, CPRA was a law passed by the California State Legislature in 1968 requiring inspection and or disclosure of governmental records to the public upon request, unless exempted by law. The CPRA is similar to the Freedom of Information Act, except for the fact that "the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business" is enshrined in Article 1 of the California Constitution due to California Proposition 59 known as the Sunshine Amendment. Exemptions to the CPRA are narrowly construed and the public agency bears the burden of proving that an exemption applies. Exemptions under the CPRA are set forth under Section 6254 and are specific as to certain records or types of records. California obtained statehood on September 9, 1850. California is divided into 58 counties which include 482 incorporated cities and towns, of which 460 are called cities and 22 are called towns. California is the third largest state in the country with the largest population. A California public records directory shows which agencies provide specific data. Criminal history reports may be obtained from the California Department of Justice. Navigate through California courts, state and local departments and request records directly.
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  • Where can I find access to and a copy of my divorce decree in California?
    Divorce decrees are requested from the superior court in the county where the divorce was filed. The certificate of record for divorces between 1962 and June 1984 from the California department of public health does not say whether the divorce was finalized in court. The CDPH gives you links to both superior county courts and county recorders' offices.
  • How do I obtain a full copy of my criminal history in California?
    There are many different services and methods used to conduct a criminal history search. You have more access to your own records rather than others in the general public since privacy of personal information is not a concern. You can request your own arrest records directly from the police department. When you conduct your own search, the records can be a supplement to a background check used by the public. You can request a California Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprint criminal history check. Even this search requires a consent form to be submitted when requesting the search. Take a look at their coverage, it's comprehensive in regard to criminal records compared to many private services. If you believe there may be criminal records, you can check court records on your own, where and how depends on which court/county as courts are the original source of records found in a typical background check. The link above (California Criminal Records) will take you to the state and FBI criminal history checks.
  • How do I find mugshots, arrest records, and active warrants online for free in California?
    You will have to dig it up, you can start with looking up local periodicals such as news publications, arrest logs and inmate lists provided by law enforcement. Arrest records are provided by the law enforcement agency which created the report. You can check the department's site for warrants. Larger departments tend to have better online resources.
  • How can I get a copy of my discovery in California?
    There are circumstances where discovery can either be obtained by the public and other circumstances where they are not. Was the discovery introduced into evidence or filed in court? Or was the discovery used as evidence, such as photos/images of a traffic violation by the police? Court hearings on discovery are presumed open to the public, however, discovery (that's not presented in court) such as document productions, interrogatories and depositions are not. You can check California law more, and specifically about discovery, there are other factors to consider before seeing whether it's open to the public. The rules are different for civil versus criminal, you will need to check how it applies to either separately.
  • Where can I find in California, access to my trial transcripts on July 10th, 2013 through July 13th, 2013?
    Court procedures, cost and policy can vary from one venue to another, however, court transcripts are public record and available to request by anyone. To answer it specifically, one would have to know which court it was in. Generally, you will need information which you probably already have or can get with a case search. You will need to know the name of the court reporter, case number, date of proceeding and name of judge or department. For Riverside county court, a form is provided for the public to use and request the transcripts online or by mail. The court reporter's name can be found in the minute order for that hearing date.
  • How do I find in California, a case number for a traffic ticket?
    There are traffic citations issued by state highway patrol (CHP), county sheriffs and city police. In some counties, you can look up information online. It's whether that particular agency makes it accessible online or not. Within county webpages, there are instructions for public record copy requests, which includes traffic violations. Larger counties are more likely to have better public search services.
  • Where can I find in California, information for free on an individual with a criminal background?
    Free public records, whether criminal or other types, are scattered throughout the internet. Some of which you will able to find easily and others a simple SERP search is not going to be enough. California is a state which strives to stay ahead with technology, and its largest cities employ services with the help of the web. If you don't already know the different addresses under the person in which you are checking, a search of all residences will help with where to look for records not in the current location. Free searches do not jump out of the SERPs, to the contrary, many of them do not appear easily. When looking for free criminal records, a single site will not be able to show everything as small bits of information can be found in different sites. Criminal courts can be found online with their policy and services in order to request criminal case files. Police departments including the LAPD, LASD and many others have a free online arrest logs and inmate/in-custody searches with photos/mug shots. There may be databases with free criminal information known by others, by mentioning the area/county/city, there may be posts to help with searches you may have missed.
  • Where can I find in California, how to removed my public record?
    All records do not come from the same place, some may have common providers, but there's not a single place that has all the records, therefore, no one place can eliminate them. There may be services which do that, or claim to do so. If you find the source, you will see what you need to remove or strike erroneous data. Once the record/information is out from the initial source, it can take a life of its own and go to many other databanks or work in conjunction with other data. Removal of information and its procedures is specific to the type of record and its custodians or departments.
  • Where can I find the California Public Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

    Open public record and meeting statutes, sunshine laws, freedom of information act are just a few ways to describe the same thing, the right to request and obtain copies from the government. Although the federal government was not the first to face transparency issues, when the federal freedom of information act passed, many states modeled their laws after the federal government's.

    As states pass their own public records and open meetings laws, some are more favorable toward transparency and others privacy. However, these statutes are amended to meet new technologies for methods of obtaining information. An example of this scenario is when there were debate regarding government employee emails and whether this type of information is subject to disclosure.

    Statutes are now better in tune with technology. There have been many statutes passed in recent years to better serve the public's need, specially when there's an investigation into a government department. The California Public Records Act (CPRA) was passed 1968 by the state's voters and more recently proposition 59 in 2004. Groups, organizations and concerned citizens feel that open records promotes government accountability. These laws have many agencies appointing a public information officer in charge of requests.

    When requestors believe that the agency is in violation of public record laws, they go to court. Many of these cases set a precedence for related upcoming issues. There are many gray areas, but the public information officers role is not to determine whether or not open records laws apply.

    Here are a few organizations: National Freedom of Information Coalition, First Amendment Coalition in San Rafael, Californians Aware in Carmichael, CA, First Amendment Project.

  • Where can I find what information will appear in criminal background histories in California?
    Criminal records are generally of convicted offenders. Arrests alone and warrants may not appear in background checks you order from a company or the state. The sources of information are usually from the agency that shows up on the current or archived article. So if a person is charged and arrested without a conviction, the information will most likely not appear on background criminal histories. There are many sources to conduct a background checks for prior criminal convictions. Some private companies, as well as state agencies, provide this service. What they cover can vary quite a bit between the companies and various government agencies. So checking to see the coverage listed on their site will give a good picture of what you should expect. Some only show criminal records and others can include other public information such as assets, recorded real property, addresses, and so forth. There is no one standard background check for everyone. What you can get depends on the sources you have used. Employers within guidelines are common requestors of background checks. When concerned about what others will see about you, try to use the same source used by the possible employer. If the arrest updates scroll through, chances are the employer is not monitoring for a particular name. The greatest challenge may be finding out what source an employer uses to conduct background searches. The prospective employees can request a copy of their background checks, and you will be able to see what is in the report, but by then, it may be too late. The next application may be to an employer using a different service. Some employers, mostly larger ones, will state a background search will be ordered directly on the application. Many of the applications from companies are available online. So, by doing your homework, you can find what you need from your computer anywhere. The news information may be archived for some time, and it is probably better for an employer to search there if the history dates back far enough to be worth the effort. Another point to consider is the level of security required by the position being sought. For higher security clearances, even by private firms that may be contracted by the government or working with proprietary products, background checks can include the services of a private investigator conducting the search.
California Free Public Records Directory

Departments which record, maintain and provide official documents, certificates or information requested by the general public.

California Latest Crime Records (Updated 12/08/2022)
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California Census Data
  • Information About People and Demographics

  • Total population of persons residing within the state
  • Estimate of the state's total residency
  • Percentage change of the total resident population
  • Net change of residents' total population
  • Complete count of statewide resident population
  • Population estimate of residents less than 5 years of age
  • Estimated percentage of residents that are less than 5 years of age
  • Estimate of residents that are less than 18 years of age
  • Estimated percentage of residents that are less than 18 years of age
  • Percentage estimate of residents that are 65 years of age and older
  • Estimate of residents that are 65 years of age and older
  • Total estimate percentage of female residents
  • State's white resident population
  • State's black resident population
  • State's American Indian and Alaska Native resident populations
  • State's Asian resident population
  • State's Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander resident population
  • Statewide resident population of two or more races
  • Statewide resident population of Hispanic or Latino origin
  • Non Hispanic white resident population
  • Statewide percentage of white residents
  • Statewide percentage of black residents
  • Statewide percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native residents
  • Statewide percentage of Asian residents
  • Statewide percentage of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
  • Statewide percentage of Two or more races
  • Statewide percentage of Hispanic or Latino Origin
  • Statewide percentage of non Hispanic white
  • Vital Statistics

    Births and deaths occurring in California
  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Infant death occurring within the state of persons one year of age or less
  • Percentage of persons with the same residence of one year or more
  • Resident Background Information

    Education and background history of California Residents
  • Percentage of foreign born population in the state
  • Percentage of residents 5 years of age and older that speak languages other than English at home
  • Percentage of persons from 25 years of age and older with high a school education or higher
  • Percentage of persons from 25 years of age and older with bachelor's degree or higher
  • Total number of Veterans
  • Current Housing and Real Estate Data

    Households located in California
  • Average time spent commuting to work for person 16 years and over not working from their personal residence
    27 Min
  • Housing unit estimates
  • Net change of housing units estimates
  • Housing unit estimates - percentage change
  • Percentage of the state's housing units being occupied by owners
  • Median value of the state's housing units being occupied by owners
  • Percentage of housing in structure of multi dwelling units
  • Total number of households
  • Average size of households
  • California Employment Data

    Income, earnings and payrolls of people residing within the State
  • Per capita income in the past 12 months in dollars adjusted to inflation
  • Statewide income of median households in California
  • Percentage of persons living in poverty
  • The personal income of persons employed
  • Per capita income of persons employed
  • Labor force of civilian workers
  • The unemployment of the civilian labor force
  • The rate of unemployed civilian labor force
  • Employment of person relating to all industries
  • Net change of employment in all industries
  • People employed by the government
  • Earnings by persons working in all industries
  • Average earnings per job in all industries
  • Number of private non farm establishments
    879,025 Disclaimer: accesses data available from various unaffiliated external public sources. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information from unaffiliated sources and makes no representation of the data's completeness and content. Sources listed and its data are independent from Information is subject to change without notice due to updating and modifications to data. Utilization of content is at one's sole risk, all data is for informational purposes only. does not make any claims of guilt of the alleged perpetrators appearing. Open Public Records is not to be utilized for any commercial purposes, including but not limited to employment, tenant or any screening or evaluation. Open Public Records is not a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) as defined under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). For further information and verification please refer to the original source of the data.