How to Request Information or Records from the City
Requests for information and records can be made in the following ways:
1. By using Records Online : A web feature that enables anyone with access to the Internet the ability to search and access City documents.
2. By Telephone: Simple requests for information relating to city programs and services can be processed at the time a request is made by contacting City Center, (510) 981-CITY (2489), for referral to the appropriate department, or by calling a department directly.
3. By visiting the front counter of a department: Each department maintains a customer service counter to assist with walk-in requests. Departments will make every attempt to respond to your request if the information is readily available. If your request requires additional research, the department will attempt to provide you with a response within three business days. For locations, see the department contact list.
4. By submitting the City Clerk Public Records Request form : via email, fax (510) 981-6901, or in person at the City Clerk Department.
5. By submitting a request in writing via E-mail, U.S. Mail or Fax: Every attempt is made to provide you with a timely response. For addresses, see the department contact list.
Payment Policy: The City Clerk Department accepts cash and checks/money orders only – no debit or credit card payments are accepted. The City Clerk Department may not be able to give change for bills of $20 or greater. Please note that the City Clerk Department accepts EXACT CHANGE ONLY after 4:30 p.m.
Although the City maintains City Center, (510) 981-CITY (2489), as an initial point of contact for city information, the programs, services and records of each department within the City are maintained distinct from those of another. Additionally, crafting your request with as much specificity as possible will facilitate the most accurate and efficient response to your inquiry. There is no charge to review records; however, city policy allows for reimbursement of any duplication costs.
Please note that certain records kept by the City may not be disclosed because the records are exempt from disclosure by law. The California Public Records Act (Government Code §§6250 - 6270 and §§6275 - 6277), specifically §§ 6254 and 6255, provide that certain documents are exempt from public disclosure. The types of documents that are exempt include, but are not limited to, personnel records, medical records and similar files which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy if publicly disclosed; records pertaining to litigation under the California Tort Claims Act to which the City of Berkeley is a party; memoranda from legal counsel regarding pending litigation, preliminary drafts, notes or inter-agency advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations; records of complaints to or investigations conducted by any state or local police agency; privileged attorney-client communications; initiative, referendum and recall petitions; trade secrets and criminal history information, and certain documents in which the public interest in not disclosing the document outweighs the public interest in disclosing.
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