Victory, Public Records Act (State Parks)

Another Court Victory for Friends of Oceano Dunes!

FoOD Press Release PDF

September 30, 2020, Friends filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) for failing to provide Public Records that Friends requested via an official Public Records Act (PRA) request.

Failure of Parks to provide these records was in violation of the Public Records Act and the Court sided with Friends. Friends’ and Park’s counsel have met and conferred and agreed, in lieu of further litigation, to this stipulation for judgment in favor of Friends, and that Friends is the prevailing party in this litigation. The parties have further stipulated to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs to Petitioner Friends as a prevailing party, and agree that the California Public Records Act, Gov5tCode § 6:z5g(d), mandates an award of reasonable attorney’s fees to requesters who prevail under the Act.

March 24, 2001, the court made a final judgement in favor of Friends. Parks then objected to releasing some additional documents due to attorney client privilege and the judge sided with Parks and certain documents were not released to Friends.

October 4, 2021, the court has ordered Parks to pay Friends it’s attorneys fees in the amount of $23,500.

Friends President, Jim Suty stated: “Friends is pleased with this verdict but is frustrated by the continued delay and stall tactics of those working on behalf of all Californians from their offices in Sacramento! Politicians often talk about transparency, but the actions to date have shown a complete disregard for transparency and fairness.”

Friends of Oceano Dunes is a 501(C)(3) California not-for-profit corporation expressly created to preserve camping and off-highways vehicle recreation at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area (ODSVRA). Friends is a grass root volunteer organization which represents approximately 28,000 members and users of the Oceano Dunes SVRA.