DFEH guidelines for requesting public records

DFEH records are available to the public, except for cases that are still under investigation. The Custodian of Records holds complaint records for three years and, upon request, will make them available during business hours – Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm, excluding holidays.

Make a request for records

Requests can be submitted online, by phone or by mail. Please provide as much detail as possible about the record(s) you want to see. Within 10 days after the request is received, DFEH will confirm that it has the records and what the cost of the request will be. In unusual circumstances, the department may write asking for more information in order to process the request.

  • Online. Sign on to our online service, called Houdini, and click on “Request Public Records.” Then follow the instructions for filing your request and paying any fees. You may also email a request to pra.request@dfeh.ca.gov.
  • By phone. Call our Communication Center at 800-884-1684 (voice). If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please call 800-884-1684 (voice) or 800-700-2320 (TTY) or reach us through California’s Relay Service by dialing 711.
  • In writing. Mail a written request to the DFEH’s Elk Grove office.

Attention: Custodian of Records
2218 Kausen Drive, Suite 100
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 478-7251


Public records in electronic form will be released in the format in which they are held. If a record exists in both electronic and hard copy formats, you can select either one.

While the DFEH will disclose identifiable and existing public records, it is not required to create a new record or list from an existing record. And under state law, certain categories of records may be exempt from public disclosure. They are listed here.


If records are e-mailed to you, there is no cost.

There is a fee of 10 cents per page for hard copies of public records plus the costs of mailing them. You will receive an invoice before your request is processed and DFEH will not provide documents before payment is received.

There may be a fee of $24 per hour if your request requires the Department to compile records or extract information from an electronic record or undertake programming to satisfy your request. Once payment is received we will complete the processing of your request.

You will receive your information or copies 20 days after the DFEH receives payment. Please note that if payment is not received within 30 days, you will have to submit a new request.

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