Public Records & Subpoenas

San Francisco citizens have the right to access government documents and proceedings to allow for effective public oversight.

The California Public Records Act and the Brown Act protect the public’s right to access government records and to attend open government meetings. The acts cover all levels of government in the state. However, cities and counties such as San Francisco, have enacted “Sunshine” laws to ensure easier access to public records and strengthen the open meeting laws.

Public Records Requests

You can make a request for public records by emailing the Human Services Agency's Sunshine Ordinance Coordinator at hsasunshine@sfgov.org.

Service fees: Departments may charge 10 cents per page for copying most documents. Additional fees may apply for other services such as a request for certified copies.  

More information: See the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance and Frequently Asked Questions for more about service fees, filing a complaint about a records request, open meetings, and other ordinance provisions.

Service of Subpoenas

Direct all subpoenas to Investigation’s Manager of the Custodian of Records:

  • By fax to (415) 503-4913
  • By email to hsasunshine@sfgov.org
  • In-person at the HSA Investigations office located at 160 S. Van Ness Avenue. Hard copy subpoenas will not be accepted at any other HSA locations.

Types of subpoenas:  Subpoenas may be served for HSA-related client case records, personnel records, and personal appearance in connection with an HSA case.

Employee's personal business: Process servers are not permitted in HSA facilities to personally serve an employee in a private matter. In cases where a process server has made at least three unsuccessful attempts to serve a person at home, California law permits the process server to serve a subpoena at the work-site. Such subpoenas may be accepted by the Investigations manager or his/her designee at 160 S. Van Ness Avenue. The subpoena will then be forwarded to the relevant employee.

Service fees:  A $15 fee may apply for each service of a subpoena.

More information: Email hsasunshine@sfgov.org.