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Public Records

The City Clerk is custodian of the City’s records and is responsible for administering the City’s records management system.  Records management involves storage, retrieval, destruction, and responding to requests for public records.  The City’s records are stored at City Hall, off-site at a records repository, and in digital form.  All records are retained according to a records retention schedule, including certain records that are retained permanently.

Public Records:  California law designates the vast majority of the City’s records as available for public disclosure.  These laws also provide certain categories of records that are exempt from public disclosure, such as personnel records, records related to current litigation or current real estate negotiations, and such. 

  • Records that are disclosed to the public may be viewed at City Hall at no charge. 
  • The cost of copying records is charged to the requestor, based on the type of copy requested. If mailed, these costs are also paid by the requestor.

Responding to Requests for Public Records:  The City responds to requests for records based on whether it is a routine request or a comprehensive request. 

  • Routine Requests: are requests for records commonly known to be disclosable and if the response can be made during the normal process of providing customer service by a single department. 
    • Requests can be fulfilled by the department responsible for maintaining the record.
    • Records are made available for viewing, upon request.
    • Copies are made, upon request.
  • Comprehensive Records Requests:  These are requests that involve records from multiple departments, are broad in nature, require extensive numbers or records, require research by staff, require extensive copying time and expense, require records be brought in from off-site storage, require City Attorney review to determine if records may be exempt from disclosure, or other circumstances that prevent a response upon request.     
    • Requests are made to the City Clerk.
    • The City Clerk will coordinate response to request.
    • Disclosable records will be made available for viewing at the Office of the City Clerk, after they are gathered from various departments and reviewed by the City Attorney.

Requests for Public Records:  Please contact the Office of the City Clerk (949) 493-1171 with questions.  Click here for a records request form.  You may submit a request via:

  • In person at City Hall at a departmental counter.  If the request is extensive, you will be referred to the City Clerk
  • US Mail: 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
  • Fax transmission (949) 493-1053
  • Or e-mail


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