California Evidence Code Section 1045
(a) Nothing in this article shall be construed to affect the
right of access to records of complaints, or investigations of
complaints, or discipline imposed as a result of those
investigations, concerning an event or transaction in which the peace
officer or custodial officer, as defined in Section 831.5 of the
Penal Code, participated, or which he or she perceived, and
pertaining to the manner in which he or she performed his or her
duties, provided that information is relevant to the subject matter
involved in the pending litigation.
(b) In determining relevance, the court shall examine the
information in chambers in conformity with Section 915, and shall
exclude from disclosure:
(1) Information consisting of complaints concerning conduct
occurring more than five years before the event or transaction that
is the subject of the litigation in aid of which discovery or
disclosure is sought.
(2) In any criminal proceeding the conclusions of any officer
investigating a complaint filed pursuant to Section 832.5 of the
(3) Facts sought to be disclosed that are so remote as to make
disclosure of little or no practical benefit.
(c) In determining relevance where the issue in litigation
concerns the policies or pattern of conduct of the employing agency,
the court shall consider whether the information sought may be
obtained from other records maintained by the employing agency in the
regular course of agency business which would not necessitate the
disclosure of individual personnel records.
(d) Upon motion seasonably made by the governmental agency which
has custody or control of the records to be examined or by the
officer whose records are sought, and upon good cause showing the
necessity thereof, the court may make any order which justice
requires to protect the officer or agency from unnecessary annoyance,
embarrassment or oppression.
(e) The court shall, in any case or proceeding permitting the
disclosure or discovery of any peace or custodial officer records
requested pursuant to Section 1043, order that the records disclosed
or discovered may not be used for any purpose other than a court
proceeding pursuant to applicable law.