Gov. Code 6259(d) provides for an award of attorney fees to a successful plaintiff in an action to compel disclosure of public records. It also provides that the award shall be paid from the funds of the governmental agency that erroneously refused to produce the records. This decision holds that the section does not apply or authorize a fee award when the agency agrees to produce the requested documents but its former officer files a mandamus action against it seeking to bar that disclosure (in this case on attorney-client privilege grounds) and names the record requester as a real party in interest. Such a mandamus action is not a suit to enforce the Public Records Act.
California Court of Appeal, Third District (Robie, J.); July 25, 2018; 25 Cal. App. 5th 570