Adams Stirling PLC


To "redact" is to blacken or strike through language in a document so it cannot be read.


Sensitive Information. Associations may withhold or redact information from association records for any of the following reasons. (See Civil Code § 5215 for details.)

  • the release of the information is reasonably likely to:
    • lead to identity theft
    • lead to fraud
    • compromise the privacy of an individual member
  • the information is privileged under law. Examples include:
    • documents subject to attorney-client privilege
    • documents relating to litigation in which the association is or may become involved
    • confidential settlement agreements
    • invoices from the association's legal counsel
  • the information contains any of the following:
    • records of goods or services provided a la carte to individual members of the association for which the association received monetary consideration other than assessments
    • records of disciplinary actions, collection activities, or payment plans of members other than the member requesting the records
    • any person’s personal identification information, including, without limitation, social security number, tax identification number, driver’s license number, credit card account numbers, bank account number, and bank routing number
    • minutes and other information from executive sessions of the board as described in Civil Code § 4900 et seq., except for executed contracts not otherwise privileged. Privileged contracts shall not include contracts for maintenance, management, or legal services
    • personnel records (NOTE:  if an "association record" contains compensation information for individual employees, then when the association makes that "association record" available to a member to inspect, the association must show the employee compensation information by "job classification or title, not by the employee's name, social security number, or other personal information."  (Civ. Code § 5215(b).)  See "Employee Salaries".
    • interior architectural plans, including security features, for individual homes

Cost Limitations. In addition to the direct and actual costs of copying and mailing, an association may charge an amount not exceeding $10 per hour, and not exceeding $200 total per written request, for the time actually and reasonably involved in redacting enhanced association records. The association shall inform the member of the estimated costs, and the member shall agree to pay those costs, before retrieving the requested documents. (Civ. Code § 5205(g).)

Campaign Materials. Associations may not edit or redact any content from campaign materials or communications that are provided via association media, newsletters or internet websites pursuant to Civil Code § 5105(a)(1). However, associations may include a statement specifying that the author, and not the association, is responsible for the content. (Civ. Code § 5105(a)(1).)

Explanation. If requested by the member who requested access to an association record that was withheld or redacted pursuant to Civil Code § 5215, the association must provide a written explanation specifying the legal basis for withholding or redacting requested records. (Civ. Code § 5215(d).)

No Liability. No association, officer, director, employee, agent, or volunteer of an association shall be liable for damages to a member of the association or any third party as the result of identity theft or other breach of privacy because of the failure to withhold or redact that member's information under Civil Code § 5215 unless the failure to withhold or redact the information was intentional, willful, or negligent. (Civ. Code § 5215(c).)

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.