(a) Whenever it is made to appear by verified petition to the superior court of the county where the records or some part thereof are situated that certain records maintained by an auxiliary organization are being improperly withheld from a member of the public, the court shall order the officer or person charged with withholding the records to disclose the record or show cause why he or she should not do so. The court shall decide the case after examining the record in camera, if permitted by subdivision (b) of Section 915 of the Evidence Code, papers filed by the parties, and any oral argument and additional evidence as the court may allow.
(b) If the court finds that an auxiliary organization official's decision to refuse disclosure is not justified under this article, he or she shall order the official to make the record public. If the judge determines that the official was justified in refusing to make the record public, he or she shall return the item to the official without disclosing its content with an order supporting the decision refusing disclosure.
(c) An order of the court, either directing disclosure by an auxiliary organization or supporting the decision of the auxiliary organization official refusing disclosure, is not a final judgment or order within the meaning of Section 904.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure from which an appeal may be taken, but shall be immediately reviewable by petition to the appellate court for the issuance of an extraordinary writ. Upon entry of any order pursuant to this section, a party shall, in order to obtain review of the order, file a petition within 20 days after service upon him or her of a written notice of entry of the order, or within such further time not exceeding an additional 20 days as the trial court may for good cause allow. If the notice is served by mail, the period within which to file the petition shall be increased by five days. A stay of an order or judgment shall not be granted unless the petitioning party demonstrates it will otherwise sustain irreparable damage and probable success on the merits. Any person who fails to obey the order of the court shall be cited to show cause why he or she is not in contempt of court.
(d) The court shall award court costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the plaintiff should the plaintiff prevail in litigation filed pursuant to this section. The costs and reasonable attorney's fees shall be paid by the auxiliary organization of which the official is a member or employee and shall not become a personal liability of the auxiliary organization official. If the court finds that the plaintiff's case is clearly frivolous, the court shall award court costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the auxiliary organization.
(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 247, Sec. 1.)