Contact Us FAQs

  1. I need to contact a state agency. Is there a directory available? Please visit the State of California website, You may also contact State Directory Services by telephone at 1-(800)-807-6755 or via e-mail at

    For questions regarding the Department of Justice contact

    • Public Inquiry Unit
    • Voice: (916) 210-6276 or
    • (Toll-free in California)
    • (800) 952-5225
    • Fax: (916) 323-5341
  2. I need to file a complaint against a state agency. Who can help me? The Attorney General's Office is unable to assist you, because we are required by law to provide legal representation to state agencies in disputes rising out of their actions. This duty precludes the Attorney General from representing individual citizens in their disagreements with state agencies or providing advice to any individual regarding the disputed activity. While the Attorney General represents state departments in legal matters, he does not seek to impose his own policy judgments or control the administration of the business of his client agencies. For assistance in resolving a problem with a state agency, we suggest that you contact the director of the agency, your representatives in the Legislature, the Governor's Office, and a private attorney. If you wish to report alleged improper governmental activity by a state employee or agency, please contact the Bureau of State Audits. This agency may be contacted as follows: If you wish to file a claim for monetary damages you believe were caused by a state agency, please contact the Government Claims Program. This Program may be contacted as follows:
    • Government Claims Program
    • Office of Risk and Insurance Management
    • Department of General Services
    • P.O. Box 989052, MS 414
    • West Sacramento, CA 95798-9052
    • Telephone: (800) 955-0045
  3. How do I obtain a copy of a law? California law is available on the Internet at and United States law is available on the Internet at You may also wish to visit your county law library. You can locate your nearest California law library at If you are unable to find a law on your own, then we suggest that you consult with a private attorney. Our office cannot provide legal advice, analysis or research to parties other than state officers and agencies.
  4. I think a law should be enacted, amended, or revoked. Who should I contact? The Attorney General's role in legislative matters is limited to making recommendations to the California Legislature regarding needed changes in law and to enforcing the laws the Legislature enacts. You may wish to share your concerns with your representatives in the California Legislature. You may contact them as follows: If you are interested in researching or tracking legislative proposals, we suggest that you contact your representatives in the Legislature and/or visit the Legislative Counsel's website at:
  5. I need to file a complaint against a federal government agency. Who can help me? Our office does not handle constituent complaints against federal government agencies. We suggest that you send a written request for assistance to your representatives in the U.S. Senate. Your request for assistance should include the following information:
    1. Name
    2. Mailing address and phone number
    3. Federal agency involved
    4. Specific request for assistance
    5. Signature of person in need of assistance (required by Federal law under the Privacy Act)
    Send your request for assistance to: and/or
  6. I need to file a complaint against a local government agency. Who can help me? It is our general policy that local governments will be primarily responsible for citizen complaints against their employees or agencies, and that appropriate local resources will be utilized for the resolution of such complaints. For complaints against city employees or agencies, address your complaint to the head of the city agency, the city attorney's office, the mayor's office, and your representative on the city council. For complaints against county employees or agencies, address your complaint to the head of the county agency, the county counsel's office and your representative on the county Board of Supervisors. If you believe you have information indicating criminal conduct on the part of a public employee, you should immediately contact the appropriate police or sheriff's department in the city or county where the incident occurred. If you feel your complaint about improper governmental activities has not been addressed satisfactorily by the local government agency, consider submitting your complaint to the county grand jury. Contact information is available from the California Grand Jurors' Association. If after investigation the grand jury concurs with your allegations, it will request the intervention of the district attorney. The state Attorney General would not ordinarily become involved in such a case unless the local district attorney had a conflict of interest that would prevent the district attorney from making any criminal charging decision in the case. If after taking these steps you continue to doubt the legality of an action taken by your local officials, consult a private attorney who can represent your interests in a dispute.
  7. A local government agency has failed to comply with my Public Records Act request. Who should I notify? The purpose of the Public Records Act is to provide access to government records so that members of the public can monitor the performance of government agencies. In recognition of individual rights of privacy and the need of government agencies to maintain the confidentiality of certain records, the Act provides several exemptions that permit government agencies to withhold specified information involving, for example, personnel, investigations, and litigation. When the Legislature enacted the Public Records Act in 1968, it provided several judicial remedies for persons who believed that they had been wrongfully denied records to which they were entitled. These remedies include the right to seek injunctive or declaratory relief or a writ of mandate in the Superior Court. (See Government Code sections 6258-6259.) Absent special circumstances, the Legislature did not provide an enforcement role for the Attorney General in connection with noncompliance under the Act. However, you may wish to consult with a private attorney to evaluate your options under the judicial remedies discussed above. For additional information, please see our Summary of the California Public Records Act
  8. A local government agency is violating the Brown Act. Who should I notify? Your local district attorney has jurisdiction over alleged violations of the Brown Act when the members of a body meet and take action with the intent to deprive the public of information to which the members know the public is entitled. (Government Code section 54959.) In addition, private citizens or the district attorney may bring a civil suit to enforce provisions of the Brown Act or to repeal actions taken in violation of the Act. (Government Code sections 54960 and 54960.1.) The court may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees when it determines that violations of the Brown Act have occurred. (Government Code section 54960.5.) For additional information, please see our guide The Brown Act, Open Meetings for Local Legislative Bodies