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.)

  • executive session minutes
  • personnel records (other than employee salaries)
  • litigation files or records protected by the attorney-client privilege
  • pending contracts
  • legal invoices
  • records likely to lead to identity theft
  • records likely to lead to fraud
  • records reasonably likely to compromise the privacy of an individual member (such as owner records, including goods or services provided to members for which the association received monetary consideration other than assessments)
  • disciplinary actions, collection activities, or payment plans of other owners
  • personal information, including social security number, tax id number, driver's license number, credit card account numbers, bank account number, and bank routing number
  • interior architectural plans for individual homes

Cost Limitations. In addition to the direct and actual costs of copying and mailing, the association may bill the requesting member an amount not in excess of ten dollars ($10) per hour, and not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) total per written request, for the time actually and reasonably involved in redacting 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).)

Salaries. Associations may not redact information concerning the compensation paid to employees, vendors, or contractors. Compensation information for individual employees shall be set forth by job classification or title, not by the employee's name, social security number, or other personal information. (Civ. Code § 5215(b).)

Campaign Materials. Boards may not edit or redact content from campaign materials or communications. However, boards may include a statement specifying that the author, and not the association, is responsible for the content. (Civ. Code § 5105(a).)

Explanation. If requested by the owner, the association must provide a written explanation specifying the legal basis for withholding or redacting requested records. (Civ. Code § 5215.)

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 this subdivision 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.