Requests for Public Records & Subpoenas
San Francisco Department of Public Health Policies Regarding Public Records
The San Francisco Department of Public Health has issued these procedures to improve its ability to provide public records under the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance, SF Administrative Code -- Chapter 67, and the California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250 et. seq. These procedures ensure that all persons seeking public records will receive prompt, accurate and courteous service without disrupting Departmental staff's other operational duties.
Procedures for Public Records Requests
All public records requests shall be directed to the Public Information Officer who will coordinate the Department’s response. Requests may be directed to the Custodian of Records in the following ways:
- Voice mail: 415.554.2928
- E-mail to the public information officer directly or to: PublicRecords.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 415.554.2899
- In person at 101 Grove St., Room 320
- For Environmental Health - related public records such as storage tank and toxic waste records, click here.
You may also fax your request to 415.252.3910
The Department of Public Health, in accordance with the Sunshine Law, may require verbal requests be put in writing for clarification and accuracy. Written requests may be made on the Department’s Public Records Request form or by self-drafted inquiry. Requests must include a telephone number or other method for the Custodian of Records to contact the requesting party to clarify a request and/or advise the requesting party when records are ready.
Per Section 67.25(b) of the Sunshine Ordinance, the Department will respond to Information Requests within 10 business days of the date of receipt. Should the request take longer than 10 business days, the Department will inform the requestor of additional time needed to perform the request.
The Department reserves the right to refrain from creating a document if the document does not exist, and/or creating a new document type/format by not converting the original document to another media.
Copies of public records may be picked up at 101 Grove St., Room 308, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Other Departmental pick up locations may be arranged by mutual agreement. Regarding release of oral public information, per Section 67.22(c) of the Sunshine Ordinance, “No employee shall be required to respond to an inquiry or inquiries from an individual if it would take the employee more than fifteen minutes to obtain the information responsive to the inquiry or inquiries.”
Records will be made available for reviewing in a designated area. Responsive records will be held for review for 5 business days after the requesting party has been notified (unless other arrangements are made in advance) and will then be returned to the appropriate files or to storage.
The requesting party will be notified as soon as copies are available. Payment is required before releasing copies of requested records.
- Reviewing Documents: There is no charge to review records.
- Copying: 10 cents per page, 20 cents per page for 2-sided copies. It is the policy of the Department of Public Health to produce two-sided copies when possible.
- Any file on CD-ROM: $3 per CD.
- Audio tape: $1.00
- Copies of unusual format records may be obtained at the cost of reproduction.
- Postage: Requesting party shall prepay all postage or delivery costs.
Note: Vital Records are not covered under the public records policy. Inquiries for birth and death certificates should be directed to the Office of Vital Records.
Policy updated 01/07
All subpoenas must be served per the California Evidence Code and cannot be accepted through mail or electronic delivery. No subpoenas concerning personal matters will be accepted.
Subpoenas for personnel records can be made at 101 Grove HR Department, Second Floor
Subpoenas for any other Department of Health request need to be made at 101 Grove, Room 320 or Room 308. Subpoena duces tecum, requiring documents, must be delivered with a $15 check payable to the SFDPH. Witness subpoenas need to be submitted with a $275 check payable to SFDPH. To determine where a subpoena must be served call Linda Acosta at 415-554-2928 or email PublicRecords.email@example.com