(a) The Attorney General, the district attorney, or any interested person may commence an action by mandamus, injunction, or declaratory relief for the purpose of stopping or preventing violations or threatened violations of this article or to determine the applicability of this article to past actions or threatened future action by members of the state body or to determine whether any rule or action by the state body to penalize or otherwise discourage the expression of one or more of its members is valid or invalid under the laws of this state or of the United States, or to compel the state body to audio record its closed sessions as hereinafter provided.
(b) The court in its discretion may, upon a judgment of a violation of Section 11126, order the state body to audio record its closed sessions and preserve the audio recordings for the period and under the terms of security and confidentiality the court deems appropriate.
(c) (1) Each recording so kept shall be immediately labeled with the date of the closed session recorded and the title of the clerk or other officer who shall be custodian of the recording.
(2) The audio recordings shall be subject to the following discovery procedures:
(A) In any case in which discovery or disclosure of the audio recording is sought by the Attorney General, the district attorney, or the plaintiff in a civil action pursuant to this section or Section 11130.3 alleging that a violation of this article has occurred in a closed session that has been recorded pursuant to this section, the party seeking discovery or disclosure shall file a written notice of motion with the appropriate court with notice to the governmental agency that has custody and control of the audio recording. The notice shall be given pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1005 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(B) The notice shall include, in addition to the items required by Section 1010 of the Code of Civil Procedure, all of the following:
(i) Identification of the proceeding in which discovery or disclosure is sought, the party seeking discovery or disclosure, the date and time of the meeting recorded, and the governmental agency that has custody and control of the recording.
(ii) An affidavit that contains specific facts indicating that a violation of the act occurred in the closed session.
(3) If the court, following a review of the motion, finds that there is good cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the court may review, in camera, the recording of that portion of the closed session alleged to have violated the act.
(4) If, following the in camera review, the court concludes that disclosure of a portion of the recording would be likely to materially assist in the resolution of the litigation alleging violation of this article, the court shall, in its discretion, make a certified transcript of the portion of the recording a public exhibit in the proceeding.
(5) Nothing in this section shall permit discovery of communications that are protected by the attorney-client privilege.
(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 88, Sec. 43. (AB 176) Effective January 1, 2010.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018