FAP Files Public Records Act Case with U.C. Berkeley School of Law

On May 27, 2016, FAP, along with the Environmental Law Clinic at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law, filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) for violation of the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). The suit alleges that, despite repeated requests by plaintiff and petitioner Dr. Joel Moskowitz, CDPH has improperly refused to disclose a public record(s) discussing the health risks associated with cell phone use. Dr. Moskowitz is Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

The telecommunications industry estimates that there are more than 300 million cell phone users in the United States. Given the ubiquity of cell phone use, any adverse health effects associated with it would represent a widespread public health threat. Since at least 2014, the Centers for Disease Control have been issuing guidance regarding the health effects of cell phones. Moreover, 220 scientists have joined in an international appeal to the United Nations and the World Health Organization to call for greater protection from non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposures from cell phones and to call for greater public disclosure of risks. The public has a compelling interest in evaluating how the Department is responding to a potential health risk to which millions of Californians are exposed.

The lawsuit requests a writ of mandate directing CDPH to release the record(s) requested. Additionally, it seeks a declaration that the requested document(s) is a public record not exempt from disclosure under the CPRA.

Read the Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory Relief Under Government Code Sections 6258 and 6259 here.