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The legal definition of public records includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics. "Writing means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof." (California Public Records Act, Government Code section 6252(e).)
There is no cost to inspect records, but there is a fee for staff to make copies of records that have been deemed releasable. Pre-payment of the copying costs is expected. While the copying costs for some records vary (see generally Article 2 of the Placer County Code), the copying cost for most county records are 50 cents for the first page of a document and 25 cents for each additional page of the same document. (Placer County Code section 2.116.030).