How to Request Public Records

Also known as a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request.

You may request public records under the California Public Records Act. Upon submittal, the City, in accordance with Government Code Section 6256, has ten (10) days to respond. This response must indicate whether or not the documents exist and can be made available. Please include as much detail as possible when requesting records. If you are unsure about what records might exist, you may contact the Office of the City Clerk.

Continue the Process:
  1. Create an Account

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    As a first time user, please visit the Public Records Request Center to create an account. Once your account is created you are able to submit and track a request, access a previous request, and download requested records all from "My Request Center" page. Please note the City of Santa Monica will not disclose personal contact information you provide to create your account.

    You may submit a request anonymously, but please retain the reference number to track your request (e.g., R002553-093015).

  2. Submit Public Records Request Form

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    Complete the form and describe the record you are seeking to the best of your abilities. You may contact the Office of the City Clerk for assistance in helping you narrow down your search.

  3. Check the Status of Request

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    Log onto My Request Center and login with the credentials you created. Once you are in click on "View My Request".  Through each request you can communicate with staff by sending email communication or add documents if requested by the City.

    If submitted anonymously, please remember to enter your reference number. 

  4. Receive Public Records

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    Once your Public Records request has been completed, you will receive email communication to login to My Request Center to see your results of the request. If there are fees associated with your request, an email communication will be sent with the details of the fees and how to submit payment. No records will be copied until payment is received.

  1. Onsite Review and Pickup

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    If your records can be reviewed onsite or picked up, you will receive email communication on how to schedule an appointment.

  2. Pay the Public Records Request Fee

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    If a fee is due because the record or records are not in electronic form a call and/or email notification will go out to the requester. No copies will be made until payment is received.

  1. Received by mail

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    Communication will be sent to you if your records need to be sent to you via postal mail.

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