Guidelines for Access to Public Records

The Constitution of California (Art.I, sec.3) and the Public Records Act (Government Code sec. 6250 et seq.) provide a right to access public information in government records. These guidelines provide guidance to members of the public on how to access public records of the California Department of Child Support Services (Department).


Requesting Information About Your Case

Documents containing personal information about your case are confidential and are not public records. If you have a child support case managed by a local child support agency and seek information or documents on your own personal account, please contact the office as follows. You may send an email by logging into your personal Customer Connect account, you may call 1-866-901-3212 or you may make your request in person by visiting the local child support agency that manages your case. Office locations and contact information are available on our Find a Local Office page.

Submitting or Making Public Record Requests

The primary recipient of public record requests within the Department is the Office of Legal Services. Written requests must be sent to the following mailing address:

California Department of Child Support Services   
Office of Legal Services 
P.O. Box 419064   
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741

Requests for public records should be specific, focused and detailed so records can be identified, located, and retrieved sufficiently. Oral requests for public records may be confirmed in writing to clarify understanding of the request and to create a tracking record for the request.  Please make sure you include contact information so that the Department can contact you about your request.

Search and Production of Records

Location or search of records will be conducted by appropriate divisions and units of the Department that are the holders of the requested records. If the search cannot be performed or completed immediately, the Department will notify the requester of the result of the search within the 10 days of receipt of the request if the records are readily accessible and they are not subject to specific exemptions from disclosure under the Department. Normal operational functions will not be suspended to permit inspection of records.

If portions of the requested records require redaction, the Department may take reasonable time to provide the redacted records.

Responses to Public Record Requests

The primary responsibility of responding to public record requests lies with the division of the Department that is holder of the requested record. Determinations on producing records or denying disclosure of portions or entire records will be made by management personnel of the specific division involved. The Department may refuse to disclose any records or portions of records which are exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act. Claiming of specific statutory exemptions for redaction of information or denying disclosure of records will be communicated to the requester through the Office of Legal Services, in writing.

Charges for Copies

The Department will charge fees for copies covering direct cost of duplication or a statutory fee, if applicable. Copying fees are ten cents ($0.10) per page for each black and white page copies on paper. Direct cost of producing a copy of record on color copier or in an electronic format will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the record requested. Copies of records will be provided after the receipt of payment. A requester may pay for records using a money order, check or cash. If payment is made by check, records may be withheld until after the check has cleared through the Department’s bank account. The requester is responsible for arranging and paying for the pick-up or delivery of the copies.