My DOJ Dead End

When I wrote the Department of Justice (DOJ) I was hoping to find some information on Patty Vance. Unfortunately, they found nothing I can have access to. I wanted to post this because anyone can write the DOJ in his or her state to compile information about someone. In my case, I’ve adhered to the belief from the beginning that information is power. If I can use a bit of what I’ve heard or read to prompt one of the cold case investigators to reveal more information, then my effort has been worth it.

Sadly, this effort only lead to a dead end. Here’s a copy of the letter. Maybe someone can use the link provided to start his or her search for a loved one.

Dear Sir or Madam:

This correspondence is in response to your online request form submission dated July 7, 2019, which was received by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) on July 8, 2019, in which you sought records pursuant to the Public Records Act contained in Government Code section 6250 et seq.

Specifically, you are seeking: “I am looking for any record I am privy to under the name of Patricia Vance, DOB: June 30, 1961. I have her death certificate already.”

Absent a request for representation, DOJ responds solely on its own behalf and not on behalf of other agencies.  We have searched our records and legal indices and found no records responsive to your request.  You appear to be seeking records that are not in the control or custody of the California DOJ.  We have no obligation or ability to provide public records that are not in our custody.  (Gov. Code, § 6253(c).) 

Please note that the DOJ is not the depository for records for the entire state of California.  The scope of our records related to individual citizens is limited to matters that fall within our Department’s purview.  If you wish to review records that are in the custody or control of another state or local agency, you should direct your request to that agency.  For example, vital records such as birth, death, marriage, and divorce records may be available through the Department of Public Health, Office of Vital Records (OVR).  Please review the information at the OVR website to determine if the record you need is registered with the OVR and if the request processing time frames meet your needs.  The OVR website is located at:–Marriage-Certificates.aspx.  They may also be available through the County Recorder or County Court, depending on the nature of documents sought.

In the event that you are seeking criminal records, the Public Records Unit is unable to produce criminal history records as they are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Penal Code section 11105. Penal Code section 11105 expressly authorizes the Attorney General to disclose state summary criminal history information to law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes only, or to the person who is the subject of the record.  If an individual wishes to review their own criminal history records, they would have to submit a personal request.  Information relevant to obtaining Criminal History Records may be reviewed on the Attorney General’s website at:

We hope this information has been of assistance.

Public Records Coordinator
California Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General

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