A California appeals court has ruled that private text messages, emails and other electronic communications sent and received by public officials on their own devices are not public records regardless of the topic.

The 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose ruled that the state's Public Records Act doesn't extend to public officials' private devices.

The March 27 ruling reverses a lower court decision in favor of an environmental activist seeking access to messages sent on private devices through private accounts owned by San Jose's mayor and city council.