March 3rd Oral Arguments on FOI Case, NLG Bay Area Chapter vs. the City of Hayward

Guild Sisters and Brothers,

The following is from Christine Peek, the attorney representing the National Lawyers Guild’s Bay Area chapter vs. the City of Hayward in a FOI-related matter that the Guild and SPJ NorCal joined, siding with the NLG, as amici. Please note: The California Supreme Court is to hear oral arguments Tuesday, March 3, at 9 a.m. in San Francisco. In the forwarded message below, Ms. Peek tells how we can attend or see livestreamed video.

In solidarity,
Richard Knee
Legislative and Political Committee Chair, Pacific Media Workers Guild

Contact if you have questions or plan to join.

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Hello all,

I’m writing with an update on the case of National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter v. City of Hayward, No. S252445, in which SPJ NorCal and the Pacific Media Workers Guild submitted an amicus letter and filed an amicus brief on the merits.  The California Supreme Court was quicker than I expected in setting this case for oral argument!  Per the attached notice, the argument will take place as follows:

Date:     March 3, 2020

Time:     9:00 a.m.

Place:    Earl Warren Building at Civic Center Plaza, 350 McAllister Street, Fourth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102-4797

The issue before the Supreme Court is whether the California Public Records Act allows public agencies to charge the requester for redacting exempt portions of electronic records that are otherwise subject to disclosure (in this case, police department body camera video recordings).  The trial court decided the City of Hayward could not shift these costs, and issued an order requiring a refund of $3,246.47 to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.  The Court of Appeal disagreed and reversed.  The Supreme Court granted NLG’s petition for review and will soon hear oral argument on the matter.  The Supreme Court will have 90 days from the date of the oral argument to issue its decision.   

Please let me know if you’d like to coordinate plans to attend the oral argument in person.  I recommend arriving at least half an hour earlier than the 9:00 a.m. start time, as it can take a while to get through security.  Alternately, you can view the webcast on the Supreme Court’s website:

Best wishes,

Christine Peek

Inquiries can be sent to

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Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.

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